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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Reproductive health
Title Pregnancy wantedness, frequency and timing of antenatal care visit among women of childbearing age in Kenya
Volume 13
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://reproductive-health-journal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12978-016-0168-2
A woman’s health seeking behaviour during pregnancy has been found to have significant repercussions on her wellbeing and that of her unborn child. For example, the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes and maternal death is higher among women who do not receive antenatal care.

The study described the characteristics of women who reported wanted, unwanted and mistimed pregnancies from their last birth at the time of the survey; the linkage between frequency of antenatal care visits and pregnancy wantedness and the relationship between timing of the first antenatal care visit and pregnancy wantedness since maternal morbidity and mortality are higher among women who do not receive antenatal care. The 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data is used and multinomial logistic regression and logistic regression informed the study analysis.

Results showed that women, who reported wanted pregnancy were more likely to receive antenatal care while those who reported unwanted pregnancy were less likely to receive antenatal care, but more likely to attend late the first time and have fewer than four antenatal care visits. Also, mistimed pregnancies were associated with low frequency of antenatal care visit and late timing of the first visit.

Our findings confirm an association between pregnancy wantedness, frequency of antenatal care visits and timing of the first antenatal care visit. Women whose pregnancy was reported as mistimed and unwanted were more likely not to receive any antenatal care and when they did; they went for fewer than the recommended four visits with late timing. Health policy and strategies should ensure that all pregnant women regardless of their pregnancy status at the time of conception first receive antenatal care, and receive it in a timely manner and make at least four antenatal care visits before delivery. This will help to identify health complications that may arise during and after delivery and reduce maternal, new-born and infant mortality. Information, education and communication campaigns on family planning especially for spacing and matters related to antenatal care visits, timing and frequency should be intensified nationally.

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