Pregnancy outcome is a strong indicator of maternal vulnerability. ICPD (1994) stated that every childbirth and delivery should be healthy. The study examined the determinants of pregnancy outcome among rural women in Nigeria. Pregnancy outcomes considered include live birth (low weight babies) and terminated pregnancy (miscarriage/stillbirth).
The quantitative cross sectional study analyzed the 2013 national demographic and health survey (NDHS) data and surveyed 77,486 rural women to access the determinants of pregnancy outcomes. A qualitative descriptive study (in-depth interview) was also employed with three women interviewed to complement the quantitative study. The study shows that while maternal healthcare facilities are available in the study area, they are poorly utilized. Some socio-demographic factors that reveal association with pregnancy outcomes are maternal age, maternal parity, maternal education, religion, occupation, place of delivery, birth interval, and malaria prevention/cure during pregnancy (P<0.05). The binary logistic regression result indicated that among other factors that influence pregnancy outcomes, delivery assistance (P<0.05), maternal age (P<0.01), and economic status (P<0.05) strongly predict pregnancy outcome after controlling for covariates. The qualitative result reveals that maternal nutritional intake and some cultural practices during pregnancy also influence pregnancy outcomes. The study results provide reasons to reject the null hypothesis. The study suggests that rural women should be enlightened to deprecate obnoxious cultural practices which directly or indirectly hamper pregnancy outcomes, and embrace healthy practices that grounds favorable pregnancy outcomes.
Keywords: Nigeria, pregnancy, low birth weight, terminated pregnancy, maternal nutrition, cultural practices.DETERMINANTS OF PREGNANCY OUTCOMES AMONG WOMEN IN NIGERIAN RURAL AREAS