Maternal factors that influence Birth Preparedness and complication readiness among women attending antenatal clinic at Mbagathi County Hospital, Nairobi Kenya.

Rhoda Achieng Onono, Rosemary Okova, Nancy Maingi


Introduction: Birth Preparedness/ Complication Readiness (BP/CR) involves making early birth preparations in order to improve maternal health outcomes. This involves participation of family and community members. This study aimed at identifying the maternal factors that influence birth preparedness and complication readiness among women aged 18-49 attending antenatal clinic (ANC) at Mbagathi County Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional design involving qualitative and quantitative approaches of collecting data from 202 purposively sampled women at 32 weeks or more pregnant, aged 18-49 years, attending the ANC. The key informants were four nurses from maternity department. Semi structured questionnaires were used to collect data from women, interview guides for one focused group discussion.

Findings: Maternal factors were significantly associated with BP/CR. On parity, only 60% of the first-time mothers were considered to be prepared for child birth, while, 84.4 % of those who had delivered before were prepared for child birth OR 3.61; 95% CI 1.86-7.01 (p < 0.001). Higher number of ANC attendance yielded better preparation. Those who had attended the ANC 4 or more times were reported to be 3.16 times likely to be better prepared for birth than those who had paid less visits (OR=3.16, CI=95%, 1.22-8.16, x2=16.8, p= 0.017). Those who had discussions with the health professionals about BP/CR were twice better prepared than those who had not (x2=4.78, p = 0.03). The period of initial ANC attendance and the previous history of abortion did not influence birth preparedness.

Conclusion and recommendations:  The maternal factors that had significant influence to BP/CR are, parity, number of ANC attendants, and discussions of BPCR, while those of no significance were the period of initiation of ANC attendance and history of previous abortion or still birth. During ANC Special attention should be given to those who are pregnant for the first time, all women should be encouraged to pay regular ANC clinics and more time should be used to discuss BP/CR.


Birth Preparedness, Complication readiness, Antenatal Care, Parity.

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