Choice of Place of Delivery during Pregnancy in Kenya: A Case of Kitui West Sub- County


The objective of the study was to explore factors determining choice of place of delivering the baby in Kitui West Sub County. The population of women within childbearing age (15 – 49 years) according to 2009 census was 1230 in Kitui West Sub County (KNBS et al.; 2009). The study design was mainly qualitative in nature. To collect data from pregnant women and postnatal mothers, semi structured interview guide was used while unstructured interview guide was used to gather data from focus group discussion. One hundred and eight seven pregnant women were interviewed before and after delivery to establish where they delivered and the reasons for their choice. Data was transcribed and emerging themes and patterns were identified, coded and categorized according to themes. This research revealed that choice of place of delivery was mainly influenced by; husbands, previous safe deliveries, confidence in the traditional birth attendant, complications during childbirth, previous complications during childbirth, mothers in law, awareness of complications that could occur during childbirth and mothers of unmarried pregnant women. Majority of the respondents appeared to have scanty information about childbirth complications which seemed not to have influenced them to choose to deliver in a health facility. Health Belief Model by Becker and Maiman (1977) postulates that unless an individual perceives severity of a medical condition the likelihood of taking action is minimal. There was a challenge of reaching pregnant women who did not attend antenatal clinic. What seems to hinder pregnant women from gaining profound information regarding childbirth needs to be explored.

Paschalia Kavuli Mbutu, Dr. Wanjiru Gichuhi & Dr. Grace Bosibori Nyamongo