Mothers' Perception of The Need for Social Companionship During Labour in The University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
The perception of women on the need for social companionship during labour and childbirth is essential in order to ascertain the acceptability of this parctice to the women being served. Pre-tested, pre-coded questionnaires were used to interview subjects at the antenatal clinic. Most (95.8%) of the 288 respondents interviewed expressed the need for social companionship during labour. Forty-six (51.7%) multiparous respondents had delivered with a social companion during previous deliveries either at a private maternity unit or at their homes. Most (93.5%) of such respondents reported that, with a social companion during childbirth, they felt less pain, less fear and that they had a more satisfying experience of the childbirth process. Women that were 30 years of age or younger were significantly more likely to prefer a social companion during labour than older women (p = 0.0083). Educational status and parity did not influence women's perception of the need for social companionship during labour in the study population (p= 0.31 and p<0.01 respectively). Married women were significantly more likely to prefer social companionship during labour than sinlge women (p<0.005). Majority (46.0%) of such respondents preferred their husbands as companions during labour. Most women in our environment would want to have a social companion during labour and delivery. Such companionship during labour is associated with a more satisfying of the childbirth process by the women.
Keywords: perception, social companionship, childbirth, maternal satisfaction