A survey of 241 postgraduate students at Ibadan University (150 men, 91 women) found widespread beliefs in an active role for men during pregnancy.
The involvement of men:
- Strengthens the couple relationship (93% agreed)
- Promotes the safety of the woman during pregnancy and childbirth (91%)
- Supports healthy behaviours by the woman (84%)
- Helps access to emotional and financial support (84%)
- Reduces maternal stress (83%)
- Helps access to healthcare (72%)
- Improves health outcomes for mother and baby (69%)
Fewer believed that the involvement by men can have an impact on the risk of preterm birth, reduced fetal growth and infant mortality – only 40%.
The respondents supported a number of measures to support involvement by men:
- Education for men (98%)
- National policies to promote the involvement of men (83%)
- Incentives for men to attend clinics, such as a free health check-up, invitations specifically to men to attend, prioritisation of women attending with partners (81%)
- Training of healthcare professionals in customer care and communication skills (70%)
- Social media communications (66%)
- Active involvement of the community (53%)
Berthran CC, Odetola TD & Abiona MO (2021), Improving maternal and child health outcomes through active male partner involvement in prenatal care, British Journal of Midwifery 29.3
Header photo: USAID. Creative Commons.