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Aim: To determine the effect of companionship during labour and delivery, and the preferred delivery position, on the choice of place of delivery among women in Zaria, with a view to providing more acceptable services.
Methods: 315 consenting women attending the antenatal clinic at primary health facility in Zaria were interviewed.
Results: 62.24% of the women had their last delivery at home. Reasons for not wanting to deliver in health facility included the fact that it was too expensive (48.19%), concern that a companion would not be allowed to stay with them during labour and delivery (12.05%), unfriendly healthcare providers (10.84%), and concern about not being allowed to deliver in their preferred position (4.82%).
Conclusion: Women in Zaria value social support and freedom to decide the position to adopt during labour and delivery. Healthcare providers and policy makers need to be sensitive to such needs that affect uptake of services.
Key words: utilization of delivery services, companionship during labour, maternal delivery position, Zaria, northern Nigeria