Chisom Joy Mbadugha
Faculty member of department of nursing science, University of Nigeria
Chisom Joy Mbadugha is a faculty member of department of nursing science, university of Nigeria. She is a polyvalent nurse who has practiced in variety of health care settings with expertise in psychiatry, midwifery and public health nursing. She has a Masters degree in Psychiatry-mental health nursing and currently pursuing a PhD program in same specialty. She has research interests in rehabilitation of drug addicts and the mentally ill; child and adolescent health and, concerns during pregnancy and childbirth. She has bagged numerous academic awards and honor with career objectives to reach the zenith of nursing profession, contribute to nursing knowledge and be among the policy makers in nursing through active involvement in research. She has written scholarly articles in both local and international journal and is married with four children.
INTRODUCTION: Male partners play a critical role during pregnancy and childbirth, and there is no gainsaying to the fact that their involvement in maternity care will significantly improve maternal and neonatal health indices in Nigeria. The purpose of this study was to assess adult male involvement in maternity care in Enugu South Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria.
METHODS: This community based study adopted a cross-sectional descriptive survey design. Multi stage sampling technique was used to select one hundred and forty five (145) respondents from the population of male partners in Enugu state, Nigeria. Data were collected using researchers’ developed structured questionnaire and analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentage, mean and standard deviation).
RESULTS: The study revealed a moderate knowledge of expected role in maternity care among the respondents. The level of involvement in maternity care was also moderate (2.99). The major identifiable barriers to male participation in maternity care were lack of enabling facilities (3.55), tight work schedule of the male partner (3.58). Other significant barriers were financial status of the male partners (3.33) as well as their cultural belief systems (3.0).
CONCLUSION: Although men’s knowledge of expected role and involvement in maternity in this study was moderate; men were restricted by tight work schedules and cultural beliefs systems that assumed that maternity care was exclusively women’s affair. This brings to fore the need to educate men on the importance of active participation regardless of existing cultural norms. In addition, civil service commission and other private employers should consider granting expectant fathers casual leaves to enable them accompany their partners to antenatal visits as well paternity leave to be with them during delivery and early puerperium.
Keywords: maternity care, male involvement, pregnancy, childbirth, male partners