Document Type : Original Article
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, El-Sinblawin General Hospital, Ministry of Health, Egypt
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Damietta Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, Egypt
Background: Regular antenatal care [ANC] attendance is surely lead to healthier pregnancies and reposeful deliveries. Therefore, women with late visits considered at risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.
Aim of the work: This study aimed to explore factors affecting early initiation of ANC attendance in Damietta governorate, Egypt.
Patients and Methods: An institutional based cross-sectional study of 160 pregnant women that collected for five months from October 2019 to February 2020 in public health facilities in Damietta Governorate, Egypt were included in the study. The time of their first antenatal [early or late] had been documented. In addition their sociodemographic data were registered. Other obstetric factors were collected and include parity, past history of obstetric complications, previous antenatal care visits and intention of pregnancy, access to information about ANC and interaction with health professional. Reinforcing factors [e.g., perception of mothers of the advantages of the ANC, intention of partner toward ANC service utilization, reasons that initiate mothers to start ANC after 13 weeks timing of ANC visit and frequency of the ANC, and a decision made to seek ANC].
Results: The mother’s age, husband’s age, number of living children and age of the youngest child were significantly lower in the early than late ANC groups [23.75±5.74, 29.11±6.54, 0.95±0.92, and 2.55±2.60 vs. 28.20±6.91, 34.16±7.98, 1.73±1.14, and 4.17±3.37, respectively]. Females from rural area were significantly increase in early ANC than late ANC [70.1% vs 29.9%], while urbans were lower in early than late ANC visits [47.9% vs 52.1%]. Early ANC visits were significantly associated with high income, gravidity, parity, mode of delivery, follow up status of the past pregnancy, number of visits in the past pregnancy, place of the last delivery, and planning for pregnancy.
Conclusion: There are numerous factors affecting early or late first ANC visit including mother and husband age, residence, gravidity, parity, and mode of the past delivery.