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Table 2 Definition of maternal and child health (MCH) outcome variables and the distribution these variables in the Canadian maternity experiences survey

From: Patterns of social inequalities across pregnancy and birth outcomes: a comparison of individual and neighborhood socioeconomic measures

Variables & definitions Categories ɸ Total sample (weighted)*
   N %
A Maternal and infant health status indicators    
Preterm Birth    
Infant was born before 37 weeks gestation Total 66611 100.00
  Yes 4125 6.19
  No (ref.) 62487 93.81
Small for Gestational Age    
Baby’s birth weight below the 10th percentile for his/her gestational age and sex Total 66461 100.00
Yes 5277 7.94
  No (ref.) 61184 92.06
Self rated health Total 68675 100.00
Mother’s rating of her overall health (postpartum) Fair/poor 3455 5.03
Good/very good (ref.) 65220 94.97
Postpartum Depression Total 68160 100.00
Maternal score on the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression scale > = 13 on the EPDS 4942 7.25
less than 13 on the EPDS (ref.) 63219 92.75
Pre-pregnancy BMI Total 67668 100.00
(Body mass index) Under 18.5 3780 5.59
Normal BMI (18.5 – 24.9) (ref.) 40333 59.60
  Over 24.9 23556 34.81
B Prenatal care    
First prenatal care visit timing Total 68010 100.00
14 weeks or more 3346 4.92
Before 14 weeks (ref.) 64664 95.08
Timing of ultrasound    
Timing of first ultrasound during pregnancy Total 66833 100.00
18 weeks or more 22443 33.58
Before 18 weeks (ref.) 44390 66.42
HIV testing Total 68705 100.00
HIV testing of mothers who had prenatal care visits (94.9% of mothers) Not tested 11010 16.03
Don’t know 6457 9.40
Yes had the test (ref.) 51238 74.58
Received enough information during pregnancy Total 68688 100.00
An index based on 6 yes/no questions on information received on physical, emotional changes, warning signs, tests, and medications and medical test/procedures that may be required during pregnancy; the index was calculated by creating a count variable None 5144 7.49
  Received Info (ref.) 63544 92.51
Weight gained during pregnancy (kg) Total 67261 100.00
Mothers’ weight gain during pregnancy based on the Canadian Gestational Weight Gain recommendations Below recommended range 12585 18.71
  Within recommended range (ref.) 21871 32.52
  Above recommended range 32805 48.77
C Labor and delivery experiences    
Type of birth Total 68705 100.00
  Caesarean 18105 26.35
  Vaginal (ref.) 50600 73.65
Epidural for a vaginal birth (not for caesarean section) Total 50533 100.00
Of respondents who underwent a vaginal birth, indicates whether respondent used an epidural or spinal anesthetic during labor/birth of the baby. Yes 27203 53.83
No (ref.) 23331 46.17
Position for vaginal birth Total 50518 100.00
Which of the following best describes your position when (baby’s name) was born? 1. Lying on your side, 2. Propped up or sitting 3. Lying flat on your back, 4. Some other position. Lying flat 23589 46.69
Not lying flat (ref.) 26928 53.31
Shaving for a vaginal birth, not caesarean sections Total 50301 100.00
Yes (ref.) 7576 15.06
No 42725 84.94
D Medical care during the neonatal period    
Infant hospital readmission    
Whether the baby has stayed at hospital overnight since he/she was born. Total 68659 100.00
Yes 5161 7.52
No (ref.) 63498 92.48
Infant needing non-routine neonatal care after discharge Total 68667 100.00
Whether the baby had a non-routine check-up since the time of birth. Yes 33845 49.29
No (ref.) 34822 50.71
Baby admitted to NICU after birth Total 68632 100.00
Indicates if baby was admitted to NICU immediately after birth. Yes 8703 12.68
  No (ref.) 59930 87.32
Length of hospital stay after birth Vaginal Birth (Total) 49552 100.00
More than average (3–4 days) 12216 24.65
2 days (ref.) 37335 75.35
Caesarean (Total) 18105 100.00
More than average (3–4 days) 2983 16.47
2 days (ref.) 15122 83.53
E Postpartum infant care and maternal reflections on the overall experience of health care    
Any breastfeeding at 3 months Total 68705 100.00
Whether respondent was breastfeeding at 3 months. Stopped by 3 months 36116 52.57
Yes (ref.) 32589 47.43
Any breastfeeding at 6 months Total 68705 100.00
Whether respondent was breastfeeding at 6 months. Stopped by 6 months 40493 58.94
Yes (ref.) 28212 41.06
Overall experience with labor and birth “Overall, would you describe the experience of labor and birth as: 1. Very negative, 2 Somewhat negative, 3. Neither negative nor positive, 4. Somewhat positive, 5. Very positive” Total 68422 100.00
Neutral or dissatisfied: Categories 1–3 (very negative, somewhat negative and neither negative nor positive) 13441 19.64
  Satisfied (ref.): Categories 4–5 (somewhat positive and very positive) 54981 80.36
Satisfaction with various aspects of maternity care “Think back to your entire pregnancy, labor and birth, and immediate postpartum experience, overall how satisfied or dissatisfied were you with: 1.information given, 2. respect, 3. compassion shown, 4. competency, 5.concern for privacy, 6. respondent involvement in decision making.” Total 68674 100.00
Neutral or dissatisfied: Categories 1–3 (very negative, somewhat negative and neither negative nor positive) 12824 18.67
Categories: 1. Very negative, 2 Somewhat negative, Satisfied (ref.): categories 4–5 (somewhat positive and very positive). 55850 81.33
3. Neither negative nor positive, 4. Somewhat positive, 5. Very positive
  1. ɸReference groups were chosen as those most commonly reported in the literature or in some cases for the category where there was the largest sample.
  2. *Due to missing data, the total number for some variables does not sum up to 68705.