Spousal Participation During Pregnancy and Delivery in Ilorin, Nigeria
Background: The potential benefits of the active involvement of men in antenatal and intrapartum events remain largely unexplored in low-resource countries despite the reported benefits from high income areas.
Aim: To evaluate male partners' attitudes and experience on their level of involvement during pregnancy, labour and delivery.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted at four health facilities in North Central Nigeria from 1st February to 30th July 2017. Participants were male partners of women who were pregnant during the study period; recruitment was after informed consent, data management was with SPSS (version 21.0); p <0.05 was significant.
Results: The male partners were aged 23 to 60 years (mean 35.96±6.76), 173 (69.2%) accompanied the partner to antenatal clinic and 150(60.0%) to ultrasound scan examination. The commonest hindrance to men's antenatal participation was commuter marriage (29; 37.7%); 171(68.4%) participants supported the presence of the man at
delivery while 32(40.5%) opined that men may disturb the health provider during delivery. Also, 137(54.8%) men have requested to be present at delivery previously while 46(33.6%) were obliged; among those obliged, 25(54.3%) described the experience as satisfactory while 28(60.9%) intend to be present at future deliveries. In all, 212(84.8%) suggested antepartum education classes for male partners, 202(80.8%) intend to attend such classes while 143(57.2%) suggested health facility restructuring to facilitate men's participation.
Conclusion: Men are increasingly desirous of active participation at antenatal and intrapartum events; increasing male partner education, male-friendly facility infrastructures and health providers' cooperation will encourage them to fulfil these roles.
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