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Admission to delivery suites: the importance of antenatal education

02 April 2022
Volume 30 · Issue 4


This article discusses the challenges in ensuring women have appropriate education to guide their decision on when to present to hospital during labour. Unnecessary admission to the delivery suite can cause overcrowding, which may affect the services provided to women in active labour. Pregnancy is a demanding and sometimes overwhelming experience and women's fears can be compounded if they do not know what to expect from labour. Antenatal education to inform women on the signs and symptoms of the first stage of labour, and how to recognise deviations from normal, is vital in encapsulating holistic antenatal care. Therefore, antenatal education is integral to positive pregnancy outcomes, enhancing women's ability to take control of their pregnancy by undertaking self-management at home prior to the onset of active labour and their confidence in coming to the delivery suite at the appropriate time.

In Brunei, inappropriate admission of pregnant women to delivery suites can cause overcrowding, which can affect the quality of the maternity services provided by maternal and child healthcare facilities. This article discusses the factors that can affect a woman's choice in when to present to a delivery suite and the importace of antenatal education in ensuring mothers present at the appropriate time during labour.

Brunei is a higher income nation in southeast Asia where approximately two-thirds of its population are of Malay origin (Abdul-Mumin, 2016). It has a population of 459 500 with an estimated 6000 births per year. Brunei became a member of the United Nations and World Health Organization (WHO) immediately after gaining independence from being a British protectorate in 1984 (Yusof, 2017). The improved socioeconomic status of Brunei has been linked to a reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity (Ministry of Health, 2018). The Brunei government, through the Ministry of Health (2021), offers comprehensive public medical and health services free of charge, including maternal and child healthcare facilities. There are four public hospitals in Brunei, the central referral hospital being in the capital city. The other three hospitals are purposely designated for the population in the other three districts. Maternal and child healthcare is also provided in a sophisticated private hospital equipped with modern technology in Jerudong. The primary healthcare centres that provide maternal and child healthcare services consist of 17 health centres, five travelling health clinics and two flying medical services (Ministry of Health, 2021).

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