African Health Sciences

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Knowledge and willingness of prenatal women in Enugu Southeastern Nigeria to use in labour non-pharmacological pain reliefs

A Agnes, A Euphemia, N Eunice, C Anthonia, O Yolanda


Background: Nigerian parturients desire, but experience unsatisfactory pain relief as labour analgesia is underutilised and unpopular among skilled-birth attendants.
Objectives: To assess pregnant women’s knowledge and willingness to use non-pharmacological labour pain reliefs.
Methods: Using a descriptive cross-sectional design, a pre-tested, structured questionnaire was interviewer administered to a convenient sample of 245 prenatal women at a specialist maternity hospital in Enugu.
Results: Majority (68.6%) of the women knew, but 31.4% were unaware that non-pharmacological labour pain reliefs exist in the study facility. Only 34.7% were able to identify at least four such methods, 21.2% could elicit two (each) advantages and disadvantages, and 0% to 28.3% had perceived self-efficacy of how to use each method. The leading four methods identified were breathing exercises (51.8%), massage (36.7), position changes (32.2%), and relaxation techniques (26.5%). Majority (59.6%) of the women expressed willingness to use non-pharmacological pain strategies in future labour, which is associated with increased knowledge of the methods, and parity (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Pregnant women had limited knowledge of, but majority expressed willingness to use in labour non-pharmacological pain reliefs. Nurses/midwives should give adequate childbirth information and preparation on labour pain reliefs to antenatal women to inform their choices and effective use during labour.

Key words: Knowledge, desire to use, non-pharmacological, labour pain reliefs, prenatal women.
AJOL African Journals Online