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Improving maternal and child health outcomes through active male partner involvement in perinatal care

02 March 2021
18 min read
Volume 29 · Issue 3

Abstract

Background

With poor maternal and child health outcomes in developing countries, improvement strategies have become preponderant.

Aim

To obtain the perception of University of Ibadan postgraduates on how active male involvement in perinatal care can influence the improvement of maternal and child health in developing countries.

Methods

A descriptive statistical analysis, using a cluster sampling technique was employed. Self-structured questionnaire was used for the research data collection from 241 postgraduate students.

Findings

In this study, majority of the respondents agreed that male involvement in perinatal care could reduce maternal stress (83.4%), promote healthy behaviours (83.8%), and promote safety of the wife's pregnancy and childbirth (90.5%); thus, improving maternal and child health outcomes.

Conclusion

When men in developing countries become actively involved in perinatal care, it will foster increased attendance and compliance to antenatal clinics, breastfeeding, immunisation and family planning which in turn will improve maternal and child health.

Mater nal and child health is an important component of reproductive health, which entails the health and wellbeing of both the mother and the child during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. It refers to the accepted means of providing, promoting, preventive, curative and rehabilitative care for the mother and child (Mfuh et al, 2016).

Male partner involvement as a concept was adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. This concept of male partner involvement was instituted after the remote causes of maternal mortality were traced to cultural factors which were chiefly patriarchy (Okeke et al, 2016). Male partner involvement is seen as the process of changes (social and behavioural) that is needed among men so that they can perform more responsible maternal health roles that will ensure the wellbeing of women and children (Mfuh et al, 2016). In addition, it is an important intervention for promoting maternal health (Yargawa et al, 2015). Active concern and participation in the care of the mother and child through pregnancy and childbirth by the male partner is a simple portrait of the concept of male partner involvement in perinatal care.

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