Attitude and practice of birth attendants regarding the presence of male partner at delivery in Nigeria
Background: Despite increasing request for the male partners’ presence at delivery in developing countries, the view and practice of birth attendants remained poorly understood.This study aimed to evaluate the perception, attitude and practice of birth attendants concerning the requests in Nigeria.
Methods: A prospective, cross-sectional survey involving consenting birth attendants was conducted in six public and six private health facilities in North Central Nigeria. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS-version 20.0; p-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Among 564 participants (24.8% male, 75.2% female), 465(82.4%) support the presence of male partners at delivery, 409(72.5%) desire to be with their partner at delivery, 434(77.0%) had previous request for male partner’s presence at delivery while 225(51.8%) declined it due to perception that men will disturb. Among the male partners allowed at delivery, 92(44.0%) did not disturb the birth attendant while 5(2.4%) ended in litigation. Among birth attendants who allowed men at delivery in the past, 160(76.6%) will allow men in the future. There was no statistical significance regarding the age, gender, cadre or year of service of birth attendants and attitude to a protocol change to allow men at delivery. Birth attendants who support the presence of men at delivery showed positive attitude (OR33.178, 95%CI6.996-157.358; p<0.001) while those who opined that men would disturb at delivery had a negative attitude (OR0.306, 95%CI0.124-0.755); p0.010) to possible protocol change.
Conclusion: Despite perceived negative effects of allowing male partners at delivery, many birth attendants are willing to allow them if necessary structural modifications are instituted.
Keywords: Male partner, Men at delivery, Birth Attendant, Labour companionship