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01 November 2005

Antenatal care: a comparison of demographic and obstetric characteristics ofearly and late attenders in the Niger Delta, Nigeria.

Peter Ebeigbe, Gabriel Igberase

Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(11): CR529-532 :: ID: 430366

Abstract

Background: The utilization of modern antenatal care is poor in most partsof Nigeria and studies indicate that the majority of those who present for antenatal care do so late.Material/Methods: This was a retrospective study involving 303 consecutively booked pregnant women overa 6-month period (March 1 to August 31, 2004) in a suburban tertiary hospital practice. The objectiveswere to determine the incidence of late booking for antenatal care and to compare the demographic andobstetric characteristics of women who booked late with those who booked early for antenatal care. TheFisher's exact test, odds ratio, and the 95% confidence interval were used for statistical analysis.Results: Most (79.9%) of the women booked late for antenatal care. It was found that age, parity, levelof education, social class, previous fetal loss, and previous obstetric complications did not differsignificantly between women who booked early and those who booked late. Conclusions: The majority ofthe study population booked late for antenatal care. Socio-demographic and obstetric factors do not appearto be responsible for late utilization of antenatal care in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Further studiesare needed to explore the contribution of cultural factors to late presentation for antenatal care. Community-basedhealth education programs on the importance of early presentation for antenatal care need to be put inplace to address the anomaly of late utilization of antenatal care in Nigerian women.

Keywords: Adolescent, Nigeria, Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital, Pregnancy, Prenatal Care - utilization, Socioeconomic Factors

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750