PREGNANCY DURATION AND CHOICE OF ANTE-NATAL AND DELIVERY CARE IN SELECTED RURAL AND MIXED URBAN AREAS OF IJEBU
Pregnancy duration and choice of care for maternal health are crucial primary health issues that the World Health Organization (WHO) keeps constant in the campaign for all round healthcare delivery for mother and child. To be sure, there is consensus on the need for optimal care for the mother and baby; this is believed to enhance the mother and child social development and biological growth and to reduce maternal and infant mortality and morbidity which are prevalent in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries. The study thus, investigates challenges being faced by the mothers, which are sometime inconsistent to their socio-economic pursuits, growth and maternal well being. Other objectives include understanding of inhibitions and determinants to pregnant healthcare consumptions contribution in terms of culture, income, occupation etc. Methodologically, sample size of 152 respondents was selected for interview through purposeful random sampling among the pregnant and nursing mothers between the age of 15 to 49 years in Ijebu- Yoruba south western Nigeria involving mixed urban (i.e. informal and informal sectors) and the rural societies. The methods of data collection were survey method and in-depth (IDI) interviews. 10 in-depth interviews for mothers, fathers, health givers and opinions leaders were conducted. The data were analyzed through simple statistical method and content analysis for IDI. Data revealed strong significant but inverse relationship between the socio-cultural factors and choice of health care also incongruous relationship between the pregnant woman and nursing mother‘s residence and healthcare consumption. The results amongst other things saw culture of patriarch , income ,occupation and where one reside acting as determinants for when commences care and the choice of healthcare centre. The ethnographic result also confirmed this much that men are the key to their wives choice of care during pregnancy this is because majority of them still pay the medical bill. It is therefore suggested that government, international agencies and concerned nongovernmental organization (NGOs) should intensify effort to open up rural and mixed urban settlements to Human Development Amenities (HDA) and bring about a strong intervention to bring about adequate maternal healthcare delivery.