Objectives: This study aimed to assess the effect of complete coverage and content of available antenatal care (ANC) on the incidence of low birth weight (LBW) in 4 countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Methods: Measures of complete coverage and content of ANC services included the frequency of ANC visits and the seven service components (blood pressure measurement, iron supplementation, tetanus toxoid immunization, explanations of pregnancy complications, urine sample test, blood sample test, and weight measurement). The complete coverage and content of ANC services were assessed as high if more than 4 ANC visits and all seven components were delivered. Multivariable logistic regression with complex survey designs was conducted using Demographic Health Survey data from the 4 ASEAN countries in question from 2014 to 2017.
Results: The proportion of LBW infants was higher in the Philippines (13.8%) than in Indonesia (6.7%), Cambodia (6.7%), or Myanmar (7.5%). Poor ANC services were associated with a 1.30 times higher incidence of LBW than a high level of complete coverage and content of ANC services (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.30; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11 to 1.52). In addition, the risk of LBW was higher in the Philippines than in other countries (aOR, 2.25; 95% CI, 2.01 to 2.51) after adjusting for mothers' demographic/socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and other factors.
Conclusions: In sum, complete coverage and content of ANC services were significantly associated with the incidence of LBW in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Myanmar. The Philippines did not show statistically significant results for this relationship, but had a higher risk of LBW with poor ANC.
Keywords: Female; Health surveys; Infant; Low birth weight; Pregnant women; Prenatal care.