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.
Copyright © 2010 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.