Birth preparedness among antenatal clients
Objective: To evaluate birth preparedness and complication readiness among antenatal care clients.
Design: A descriptive cross- sectional study.
Setting: Antenatal care clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
Subjects: Three hundred and ninety four women attending antenatal care at Kenyatta National hospital were interviewed using a pre-tested questionnaire between May 2006 and August 2006. Clients who were above 32 weeks gestation and had attended the clinic more than twice were recruited. Systematic sampling was used to select the study participants with every third client being interviewed.
Main outcome measures: Health education on birth preparedness, knowledge of danger signs, preparations for delivery and emergencies.
Results: Over 60% of the respondents were counselled by health workers on various elements of birth preparedness. Eighty seven point three per cent of the respondents were aware of their expected date of delivery, 84.3% had set aside funds for transport to hospital during labour while 62.9% had funds for emergencies. Sixty seven per cent of the respondents knew at least one danger sign in pregnancy while only 6.9% knew of three or more danger signs. One hundred and nine per cent of the respondents did not have a clear plan of what to do in case of an obstetric emergency. Level of education positively influenced birth preparedness.
Conclusions: Education and counselling on different aspects of birth preparedness was not provided to all clients. Respondents knowledge of danger signs in pregnancy was low. Many respondents did not know about birth preparedness and had no plans for emergencies.
East African Medical Journla Vol. 85 (6) 2008: pp. 275-283