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Rise in premature births in Pumwani explained

Women delivering at advanced ages account for 30 per cent of new babies born prematurely every month at Pumwani Maternity Hospital, the health facility has revealed.

Pumwani Maternity Hospital is one of the largest such facilities in the country with up to 800 deliveries every month.

According to the hospital’s Deputy Superintendent, Dr Catherine Mutinda, infant mortality rate of children born to older mothers is on the rise in Nairobi.

Dr Catherine said the number of women delivering between the age of 35-40 has increased due to education, career choices, financial reasons and the option of undergoing cesarean-section.


“Women aged between 35-45 are most likely to undergo a cesarean-section delivery since their bones have hardened and cannot open up easily,”said Dr Mutinda.

The hospital has, as a result, trained its nurses on a Kangaroo mother care as the standard method of care for all newborn babies born both prematurely and full term.

Kangaroo care, or skin-to-skin care, is a technique practiced on newborn, usually care for pre-term infants may be restricted to a few hours per day.

Dr Mutinda said that the Kangaroo care is most suitable method the hospital will adapt since the incubators are limited and a room will be set aside for the purpose in a much conducive environment.