Barriers To Paternal Involvement In Pregnancy And Postpartum Care: A Case Study Of The Banking Sector In Nairobi City County
Kimotho, Lillies Wanjiru
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It is important for any country that strategies for improving the health outcomes of pregnant women are developed. One of the approaches is the development of suitable measures to increase paternal involvement in pregnancy and postpartum care. The main objective of this study was to appreciate and gain insight to those barriers faced by men in the banking sector during involvement in their partner‟s pregnancy and postpartum care. This study conducted in Nairobi City County, explored men's attitudes towards their involvement in their partner‟s pregnancy and postpartum care. It also describes roles played by men during this period. Further, the study explores how health system factors influence men‟s involvement. Data was collected from 30 men using qualitative in-depth interviews and quantitative survey questionnaires. These men‟s partners had had a child in the last two years. Two key informants were also interviewed. An in-depth interview guide was used to guide the interviews. Quantitative data was collected using a quantitative questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis method. This entailed categorizing responses from in-depth and key informant interviews into themes as outlined in the study objectives. Findings from this study reveal that many men acknowledge the importance of their involvement in pregnancy and postpartum care and the benefits that accrue as a result of their involvement, nevertheless, most have a hands-off approach in issues of maternal healthcare. The study revealed five main barriers to paternal involvement: (i) Attitudes that pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care are a female domain while men are breadwinners (ii) Fear of ridicule from peers. (iii) Lack of information on how to be involved resulting to unclear roles. (iv)Health services factors such as overcrowding in hospitals resulting to lack of space for male partners to be in health facilities. (v) Hectic work schedules. The findings underscore the need to deal with the barriers to paternal involvement, engage men on issues of maternal health, and also revamp the structures in the healthcare systems ensuring there is space to accommodate men. Education can be used to resocialize men and help them unlearn some of the social values, beliefs, practices and norms that act as barriers to them being involved in pregnancy and postpartum care.
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