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Women and Continuous Labour Support in Public Health Facilities in Nigeria

Olabisi Fatimo Ibitoye, Deliwe R Phetlhu


Childbirth is a multifaceted process that is influenced by several factors resulting in an unsatisfactory or satisfactory childbirth experience. Continuous labour support (CLS) has been identified as a positive contributor to a satisfactory birthing experience, and consequently positive maternal health outcomes. The World Health Organization recommended the right of a pregnant woman to have a companion of her choice during labour, but CLS practice remains a mirage in Nigerian hospitals. This descriptive cross-sectional study explores the perceptions, attitudes and preferences of 368 randomly selected women regarding CLS in public hospitals in South West Nigeria. Data were collected using a pretested questionnaire developed from the literature review and analysed with descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS VersionĀ 20. The findings revealed that the participants perceived support from midwives during labour as inadequate but that they were satisfied with professional care at birth. The participants perceived the inclusion of a familiar person for support as beneficial and expressed positive disposition to the introduction of persons from their social network for labour support in public health facilities. The preference for husbands and mothers as labour support persons was higher among the study participants.


continuous labour support; perception; attitude; preference

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