Timing and reasons for antenatal care booking among women in a tertiary health care center in Southern Nigeria
Keywords:Antenatal care, Early booking, Uyo
Background: Antenatal care is one of the four pillars of safe motherhood and its benefits in preventing adverse feto-maternal outcome is proven. Commencement of antenatal care early has been shown to be key for this benefit to be fully realized. The aim of this study was to determine the antenatal booking pattern of pregnant women and its determinants in our environment.
Methods: A cross sectional study of women attending the booking clinic in the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Akwa Ibom State, Southern Nigeria over a three-month period.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 28.5 years. The mean gestational age at booking was 18.3 weeks. The majority of the patients were married (94.1%). 68.1% had a post-secondary education. 33.5% of patients were nultiparous, while 3.5% were grand multiparous. The majority of patients (72.4%) booked late for antenatal care. Age group, marital status, mode of delivery was not significantly associated with timing of booking. High levels of patient’s education, high levels of husband’s education as well as grand multiparity were significantly associated with late booking (P<0.05). Majority (65.4%) of patients claimed that it was safe to book at any time during pregnancy.
Conclusions: The majority of women booked late for antenatal care. In our study, we have found that general and health education, subsidisation of cost for antenatal care and introduction of focused antenatal care will help to reverse this trend.
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