Attitudes of Nigerian women toward the presence of their husband or partner as a support person during labor

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Jan;112(1):56-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.07.033. Epub 2010 Nov 5.


Objective: To assess the attitudes of Nigerian women regarding the presence of a husband/partner during labor.

Methods: Women who were invited to participate in a randomized trial regarding companionship in labor at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, Nigeria, were interviewed in a qualitative cross-sectional survey. Demographic characteristics and opinions regarding the presence of a partner/husband as a support person during labor were assessed.

Results: Of the 197 women interviewed, 69 declined all forms of social companionship during labor; of the remaining 128 participants--who did not object to having a social companion--71 declined to have their husband/partner present during labor because of: personal embarrassment (28 [39.4%]); fear of loss of sexual attractiveness (19 [26.8%]); concern for their husband/partner (17 [23.9%]); and lack of privacy (15 [21.1%]). Of the 57 women whose husband/partner accompanied them during labor, 38 (66.7%) said that they would repeat the experience in subsequent labor, and 34 (59.6%) would recommend it. However, 15 (26.3%) expressed dissatisfaction.

Conclusion: The issue of husband/partner companionship during labor is viewed with concern by Nigerian women, who should be allowed to make an informed decision.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric / psychology*
  • Nigeria
  • Pregnancy
  • Social Support*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Young Adult