Women who give birth before arriving at National District Hospital in Bloemfontein, Free State
Background: Birth before arrival (BBA) contributes to the neonatal death rate in South Africa. This study aimed to determine the profile of and reasons for women giving birth prior to arrival at National District Hospital, Bloemfontein.
Methods: This was a descriptive study of women, 18 years or older, presenting with BBA at National District Hospital between October 2015 and January 2016. Consenting women were interviewed by the discharging doctor who completed the questionnaire.
Results: Of the 68 mothers with BBAs, 61 were included (response rate 90%). The highest percentage (38%) lived less than 5 km from a healthcare facility. The median parity was three and 67% gave birth unexpectedly. Common factors were poor antenatal clinic booking and limited antenatal clinic visits. Most mothers (89%) depended on Emergency Medical Services and 69% had made no prior arrangements with a hospital.
Conclusion: Better education on antenatal care and delivery planning is recommended.
Keywords: birth before arrival, district hospital, factors, patient profile