Prevalence and Determinants of Mother and Newborn Skin-to-Skin Contact in The Gambia: A Secondary Data Analysis
Skin-to-skin contact (SSC) between mother and the newborn brings many benefits including its potential to promote the survival of the newborn. Nevertheless, it is a practice that is underutilized in many resource-constrained settings including The Gambia where a high rate of maternal and child mortality has been reported. In this study, we examined the prevalence and determinants of mother and newborn SSC in The Gambia.
We used secondary data from The Gambia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)—2018. Data from 9205 women between 15-49 years who gave birth within 5 years of the survey was extracted for the analysis. Percentages and chi-square test were used for analyses. The significant variables from chi-square test were included in the multivariable binary logistic regression model to calculate the adjusted odds ratios (with corresponding 95% CI) of the factors associated with mother and newborn SSC.
The results of this study showed that the national prevalence of mother and newborn SSC was 35.7%. Across local government areas; Mansakonko (47.8%) and Kerewan (44.2%) had the highest prevalence, while Basse (28.5%) and Brikama (26.5%) had the least prevalence of mother and newborn SSC in The Gambia. Based on results from the logit model, normal weight (at least 2.5 kg) children were 1.37 times as likely to have mother and newborn SSC, compared with the low birthweight (< 2.5 kg) children (OR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.05, 1.78). In addition, there was 38% increase in the odds of rural women who reported mother and newborn SSC, compared with urban women (OR = 1.38; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.79). Women who delivered at health facility were 3.35 times as likely to have mother and newborn SSC, compared with women who delivered at home (OR = 3.35; 95% CI: 2.37, 4.75). Furthermore, women who initiated antenatal care (ANC) after the first trimester had 21% reduction in the odds of mother and newborn SSC, compared with women who initiated ANC within the first trimester (OR = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.68, 0.93).
The prevalence of mother and newborn SSC was low. In addition, geographical residence, birth weight, urban-rural residential status, place of delivery, and timing to ANC initiation were associated with mother and newborn SSC. There is a need to promote institutional based delivery using skilled birth attendance, promote early ANC initiation and healthy fetal growth.