Background: Antenatal care which is known as care given during pregnancy, is essential for diagnosing and treating complications that could endanger the lives of mother and child. Although most obstetric life-threatening conditions can be prevented through early and frequent access to antenatal care services the risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes is higher in Somaliland.
Objective: the objective of this study was to determine the frequency and timing of antenatal care utilization and factors influencing it among reproductive-age women.
Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 330 randomly selected mothers who gave birth in the past two years in Borama, Somaliland.
Result: Although a significant number of women utilized antenatal care in their pregnancy only 31.1% initiated the first visit within the first trimester and 48.3% received less than the recommended four visits. Fewer antenatal care visits were significantly associated with age (OR=3.018; CI=1.264-7.207), gravida (OR=3.295; CI=1.200-9.045), and gestation age (OR=1.737; CI=1.013-2.979). Early marriage (OR=0.495; CI=0.252-0.973), and large family size (OR=3.952; CI=1.330-11.742) were associated with delay of early commencement of the antenatal care.
Conclusion: Higher probability of delay in antenatal care and fewer visits were obtained in women who were young, got pregnant multiple times, married at a young age, and had a large family size. Based on our findings, uplifting the socioeconomic status and literacy level of women through community-based education and developing strategies that would take the determining factors into account may contribute to improved and adequate utilization of antenatal care.
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