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Background: Antenatal care is one of the pillars of the SAFE Motherhood Initiative aimed at preventing adverse pregnancy outcome. Early initiation provides an opportunity for optimum utilization of this care with improved maternal and fetal outcomes.
Objective: To determine the pattern and Socio-demographic determinants of gestational age at antenatal booking at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) over a two-year period.
Methodology: A retrospective review of hospital records of all pregnant women booked for antenatal care (ANC) at RSUTH in a two-year period, from 1ST May 2017 to 30TH April 2019, was carried out. Data on patients’ age, parity and educational level, and gestational age at booking were retrieved using structured pro-forma and analyzed using Epi Info Version 7. Test for significance using Chi-square was set at significant level of P<0.05.
Results: There were 3560 cases, with a mean age of 31.5±4.7 years and a mean gestational age at booking of 22.1±6.8 weeks. Majority of the women (53.9%) booked in the second trimester. Only about a quarter (26.5%) booked early, with 73.5% booking late. Majority of the women (62.2%) fall within the 30-39 age group, are Multiparous (65.3%) and had tertiary education (72.5%). There was no statistically significant relationship between their ages and gestational age at booking (χ2 = 3.372, p-value=0.761). However, parity (χ2 = 50.015, p-value=0.000) and educational qualification (χ2 = 18.358, p-value=0.001) were statistically significant.
Conclusion: The majority of ANC attendees booked late for antenatal care in this study, and only about a quarter booked early. There was a statistically significant difference in parity and educational status as determinants of gestational age at booking, with the nullipara and primary education group booking earlier.
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