Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (UT), India

2 Department of Community Medicine, Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India


INTRODUCTION: Most of the neonatal and maternal deaths occur within the first 48 hours
post‑delivery. Hence, this time period is very crucial for the survival of newborns and mothers both.
As per maternal and child health program guidelines in India, it is clearly mentioned that all the
government health facilities should discharge the mother and baby only after 48 hours of delivery in
case of normal delivery and after 7 days in case of delivery conducted by cesarean sections.
AIM: The aim of the study was to find the various factors responsible for early maternity discharge
(<48 h) of normal vaginal deliveries (NVDs) conducted at government health facilities.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study was conducted in a rural block of Haryana, North India, from
May to June, 2015. Postnatal women with NVD within 6 months of duration from initiation of the study
were included after taking proper informed consent. A questionnaire was developed by the investigators
to interview the women. The questionnaire consists of 26 items which included the socio‑demographic
details and questions on various factors affecting postnatal stay at the health facility.
RESULTS: A total of 40 postnatal women consented and participated in the study. Their mean
age was 23.46 ± 5.63 years. Majority of them (24, 60.0%) were having their first child. Out of them,
12 delivered at primary health centers (PHCs), 18 at community health centers, and the rest at the
district hospital. A total of 24 (60%) of them were discharged early (<48 h) as per laid guidelines.
It was observed that primiparity, delivery at PHC, normal birth weight of baby, and term deliveries
were significantly associated with early discharge. Among those who had NVD and stayed beyond
48 h, most of them mentioned that the round‑the‑clock availability of doctors/nurses was the main
reason for their staying at the health facility.
CONCLUSION: The proportion of postpartum women discharged early is high and alarming. There
is a need for essential counseling to be imparted to the mothers by doctors/nurses at all the health
facilities for staying till 48 hours and by health workers during the antenatal period of the importance
of the stay at the facility post delivery .


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