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Home » Topics » Child Health » Stillbirths/pregnancy losses (Deriving data on stillbirths/pregnancy losses by date of birth)
Stillbirths/pregnancy losses [message #26928] Mon, 29 May 2023 08:03 Go to next message
asya_dm is currently offline  asya_dm
Messages: 4
Registered: February 2021
Hi! For the analysis that I am doing I would like to derive data on stillbirths or pregnancy losses from the DHS for Nigeria for 2018, going 14 back before the date of the interview.

I know that the DHS methodology for estimating stillbirths requires combining the Full Birth History (FBH) questionnaire with the reproductive calendar or alternatively using a full pregnancies history (FPH) questionnaire. However, the reproductive calendar goes back only 5 years before the year of the interview and does not contain information on the day when the stillbirth happened. And FPH is not available for DHS2018 Nigeria.

In this case would it be correct if I use the FBH questions on whether the child was alive at the time of the interview and date of death and classify all babies who died at age 0 days as stillbirths? I know this would not include the pregnancy duration, which is important for distinguishing between miscarriages, abortions and stillbirths, but I would like to derive an approximation of stillbirths or pregnancy losses.
Or does the FBH include only live births (babies that were born alive but died on day 0, i.e. early neonatal deaths)?

Thank you very much in advance!
Re: Stillbirths/pregnancy losses [message #26950 is a reply to message #26928] Wed, 31 May 2023 10:05 Go to previous message
Janet-DHS is currently offline  Janet-DHS
Messages: 773
Registered: April 2022
Senior Member
Following is a response from DHS staff member, Tom Pullum:

Deaths on day 0 cannot be interpreted as stillbirths.  You are right that some of them probably ARE stillbirths, but probably only a few.  To get into the birth history, a newborn should show signs of life.

One reason for the shift from birth histories to pregnancy histories in DHS8 is to get more complete reporting of stillbirths. We believe that some very early deaths are actually stillbirths and some stillbirths may actually be live births with an early death.  This has become an important issue.  However, for the Nigeria surveys the calendar is the most reliable source of estimates of stillbirths, and outside of the interval of the calendar there is no way to make a safe estimate.
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