|Influence of women's decision-making autonomy on antenatal care utilisation and institutional delivery services in Nigeria: evidence from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018|
||Chukwuechefulam Kingsley Imo
||BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth , Volume 22, issue 141; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-022-04478-5
In the context of global health priority, understanding the role of power dynamics among women as an important intervention required towards achieving optimum maternal and child health outcomes is crucial. This study examined the influence of women's decision-making autonomy on antenatal care utilisation and institutional delivery services in Nigeria.
The data for the study were derived from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey and comprised a weighted sample of 20,100 births in the last five years that preceded the survey among married/cohabiting childbearing women. Descriptive and analytical analyses were carried out, including frequency tables and multivariate using the binary logistic regression model.
The study revealed that despite a large number of women initiating antenatal care visits before 12 weeks of pregnancy (75.9%), far fewer numbers had at least eight antenatal care visits (24.2%) and delivered in a health facility (58.2%). It was established that the likelihood of having at least eight antenatal care visits was significantly increased among women who enjoyed decision-making autonomy on their healthcare (aOR: 1.24, CI: 1.02–1.51) and how their earnings are spent (aOR: 2.02, CI: 1.64–2.48). Surprisingly, women’s decision-making autonomy on how their earnings are spent significantly reduced the odds of initiating antenatal care visits early (aOR: 0.75, CI: 0.63–0.89). Some socio-economic and demographic factors were observed to have a positive influence on quality antenatal care utilisation and delivery in a health facility.
In conclusion, women’s decision-making autonomy on their healthcare and how their earnings are spent was significantly found to be protective factors to having eight antenatal care visits during pregnancy. Conversely, women’s autonomy on how their earnings are spent significantly hindered their initiation of early antenatal care visits. There is a need for more pragmatic efforts through enlightenment and empowerment programmes of women to achieve universal access to quality maternal healthcare services in Nigeria.