Childbirth expectations and coping strategies of first-time mothers attending a comprehensive health centre in Ekiti State, Nigeria

Oluwaseyi A. Akpor, Elizabeth B. Odewade, Elizabeth F. Ojo, Tolulope F. Ojo, Ibukun O. Ojo


Childbirth is a complex life event for every woman. Women will have positive experiences if their expectations are met during childbirth, unmet expectations can result in negative experience. This study assessed the knowledge, expectations and coping strategies used by first time mothers attending a Comprehensive Health Center in Ekiti State. The study adopted a qualitative research design and twenty individual semi-structured interviews were conducted. Purposive sampling technique was used and the sample size was determined by saturation of data. Interviews were analyzed using qualitative thematic content analysis. Findings revealed limited knowledge about labour as majority of the participants had no knowledge of labour signs and process. Also, almost all the women were not familiar with the various methods for relief from discomfort during labour and first-time mothers expect midwives to care for them throughout the labour process. This study emphasized the need for healthcare professionals to provide suitable comprehensive education on the process and signs of labor as well as the various methods of pain relief. Supportive networks should also be provided for women during prenatal clinics. Also, health care professionals should consider the needs of mothers and try as much as possible to provide holistic support.

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