Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 5, No. 1, 2007
Pages 29-41

DOI: 10.36108/ijss/7002.50.0130

Socio-cultural Factors Affecting Pregnancy Outcomes among the Ibani of Rivers State, Nigeria

Ezebunwa E. Nwokocha

Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan

Oka Obouo

Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan

Adehbola A. Adedimeji

Centre for Global Health, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland


The lbani of Rivers State, Nigeria, have a high incidence ef maternal and infant mortality/morbidity, which has been linked to the perception, attitude and practices of the people with regard to pregnancy and childbirth. This study examines the process leading to pregnancy outcomes among the Ibani. Through an interdisciplinary approach, it provides an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the association between pregnancy outcome and child spacing; source of antenatal care; and access to and use of antenatal health care facilities. Data was collected through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, case studies, observation and survey questionnaires. The findings indicate that pregnancy outcome among the Ibani is not necessarily derived from spousal communication and gender discourse, because women whose husbands were solely responsible for decision making on child spacing recorded higher type-I (mother and child survival) outcome (87.7 per cent) than those who shared decision making with their spouse. There is no consistent relationship between the amount of time spent on getting to the source of antenatal care and pregnancy outcomes because Thani women who spent between 31 and 59 minutes to get to the source of antenatal had more type-I] outcomes thin those who spent about 30 minutes. Other factors affecting pregnancy outcomes, among the Ibani of Rivers State, include communal and individual values, norms and practices, and their persistent influence signals a need to investigate their separate and combined influences on pregnancy outcomes. The study contributes to a demographic understanding of hove macro-level factors impinge upon individual-level events like pregnancy outcomes.

Keywords: Communal and individual values, exploration, child spacing, family planning, post-partum period, multi-discipline, Nigeria, pregnancy outcomes, Ibani, antenatal care, traditional birth attendants(TBAs), mortality and morbidity.

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