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Ann Acad Med Stetin, 2006; 52, 1, 91-104




Studium Doktoranckie Pomorskiej Akademii Medycznej przy Katedrze i Klinice Położnictwa i Perinatologii

al. Powstańców Wlkp. 72, 70-111 Szczecin

Kierownik: prof. dr hab. n. med. Ryszard Czajka



Purpose: Solitary maternity is a significant problem of modern times requiring socio-economic and psychological, as well as perinatological studies. The twentieth anniversary of the Maternity Home managed by the Benedictine Samaritan Sisters motivated the present study.

Material and methods: Hospital discharge summaries of 429 women (group DSM) who lived at the Maternity Home between 26 July 1983 and 26 February 2002 were analyzed. This documentation was supplemented with hospital data on 177 women who gave birth at two Szczecin hospitals and on 13 who left the Home before delivery.

Results: Residents of the Home came from all regions of Poland and from urban and rural societies. They were between 14 and 43 years of age (mean 22.6 ± 5.7). 87.4% of them were single and 63.7% were primipara. 50.4% of them failed to complete primary education while 3.4% had university-level education. 6% were mentally and/or psychologically handicapped and 42.7% had no profession. The major causes of admission into the Home were: desire to hide the pregnancy, family conflicts, homelessness, difficult material situation, mental or physical disability, violence or alcoholism in the family.

The control group comprised 400 women (group K) who gave birth at the Department of Obstetrics and Perinatology, Pomeranian Medical University in Szczecin. 51.5% of them were primipara. The mean age in this group was 27.4 ± 5.4 (17–44). 71.3% were married. The Majority had secondary (41.9%) or university (32.5%) education. Most of them worked as artisans, teachers or economists. Neurological or psychiatric diseases dominated in group DSM but otherwise no severe disease at all could be disclosed.

Satisfactory prenatal care was provided to 33.1% of DSM patients and to 78% of group K. No prenatal care was provided to 9.5% of DSM patients and to 1.7% of group K. EPH gestosis was more often observed in DSM patients and imminent abortion, premature birth, PROM, urinary tract infection, and anaemia were more frequent in controls. More DSM patients had no treatment during pregnancy than controls. The use of tocolytics was significantly more frequent in DSM patients. Antibiotics and drugs accelerating maturation of the respiratory system were applied with similar frequency in both groups. Frequency of immature and mature births was similar in both groups. 84.2% of DSM patients and 68.8% of controls had natural delivery. Cesarian section was twice more frequent in group K. Immediate indications dominated in both groups (74.1% in DSM; 57.4% in K). No medication was used during delivery in 30% of patients. DSM patients more often required strong analgesics. Antibiotics and agents increasing uterine tension more often were used in K patients. Deliveries in both groups were usually without complications. Female genital tract injury was more frequent in DSM patients (20.9% in DSM; 14.8% in K). Delivery duration was similar in both groups, but the second part of delivery was longer in K primipara. Mean neonatal weight in the 1000–2500 g range was similar in both groups but was significantly higher in controls for 2501–4000 g neonates. The difference for newborns weighing more than 4000 g was not significant. There were no neonates weighing less than 1000 g. The clinical condition of newborns measured with the Apgar scale was worse in the DSM group after the 1st min, as well as after the 3rd and 5th min and the difference in each case was significant. Puerperium was usually uncomplicated. However, urinary tract infection was more frequent in DSM patients and anaemia was more frequent in controls. The duration of hospitalisation was similar in both groups (mean = 6 days). 120 of 177 DSM mothers left hospital together with their children, as compared to 99.3% in the control group. 87 children of mothers from the Maternity Home were offered for adoption.

Conclusion: By studying unwed maternity it was observed that a holistic approach is the only way to disclose all the problems which are often unusually complex and concealed but which determine the normal development of an individual in the society. Analysis of the factors involved may help in attaining goals that serve the good of the society.

K e y w o r d s: perinatology – solitary maternity – unmarried mother – pregnancy – delivery – puerperium.

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