High risk maternal factors related to fetal wastage in rural Bangladesh
An analysis of the relationship between fetal mortality (early fetal death and stillbirth), pregnancy order, maternal age, and previous fetal deaths in a rural Bangladesh population characterized by high fertility and mortality and the virtual absence of obstetric and other medical care indicates that early fetal wastage and stillbirth are higher among pregnancy orders 1 and 6, or higher than among orders 2 and 3, with the increased risk particularly apparent among those pregnancies following 2 or more previous fetal deaths. The data consist of the 21,144 pregnancies that occurred to the women in Matlab, Bangladesh, 1966-1969. By a multiple regression technique allowing for pregnancy order and previous fetal deaths, adjustments were made for age of the mother, and after allowances were made for previous fetal deaths, adjustments were made for pregnancy order. Results show the fewest fetal deaths in 2nd and 3rd pregnancies, and most at the highest parities. 10% of all pregnancy terminations 1966-1969 were registered as fetal deaths. Women in the higher pregnancy orders who have not experienced previous fetal deaths or only 1 fetal death have only a slight increase in the risk of fetal death compared to women in pregnancy orders 2 and 3. It is concluded that the virtual absence of medical care facilities is responsible for the large numbers of fetal deaths due to complications of gestation, delivery, and environmental influences. It also results in a higher maternal mortality of women with pregnancy complications related to fetal deaths. This absence of obstetric care and the high maternal mortality in this population may allow only women without reproductive impairments to reach the higher pregnancy orders.
J Biosoc Sci. 1979 Oct;11(4):465-71