Relationship Between Subchorionic Haematoma and Abdominal Massage in Pregnancy in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Pilot Study


  • EK Kiridi
  • PC Oriji
  • C Okechukwu
  • DC Briggs
  • JU Ugwoegbu
  • AE Ubom
  • AO Addah
  • IJ Abasi
  • PY Bosrotsi
  • AD Adesina



Background: Abdominal massage (AM) in pregnancy is a common practice in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. AM may cause events such as subchorionic haematoma (SAH) and increase the risk of miscarriages and adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes.

Objective: To determine the relationship between AM and SCH in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from January to June 2022 at the Obstetrics and Radiology Units of four health facilities in Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Consenting eligible pregnant women presenting to the antenatal clinic during the first trimester were consecutively included. An obstetric ultrasound scan was performed transabdominal.

Results: Of the 403 women recruited, 241 (59.8%) were aged (20 – 29 years). The mean age was 28.02 ± 5.99 years. The mean body mass index was 23.82±4.60 kg/m2. While 170 (42.2%) had undergone AM in the first trimester of the index pregnancy, 126 (31.3%) had vaginal bleeding, and SCH occurred in 109 (27.0%) women. Women who had AM had 210 (CI: 58 – 878) times the odds of having SCH and 3.3 (CI: 2.14 – 5.15) times the odds of vaginal bleeding than women who did not have AM. Only 2 (1.8%) women with SCH did not have AM.

Conclusion: There exists a strong association between the occurrence of SCH among pregnant women who have had AM. More health education is needed for women in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria to eradicate the archaic practice and improve pregnancy outcomes.


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