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Birth and Emergency Planning: A Cross Sectional Survey of Postnatal Women at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana

Emilia A. Udofia, Samuel A. Obed, Benedict N. L. Calys-Tagoe, Kwasi Poku Nimo


Birth and emergency planning encourages early decision making, helps overcome barriers to skilled maternity care and reduces preventable maternal and newborn deaths. A facility based postnatal survey of 483 childbearing women in Accra, Ghana determined birth and emergency planning steps, awareness of obstetric danger signs, reported maternal and newborn complications and birth outcome based on length of hospital stay.  Supervised antenatal care and delivery were nearly universal. Overall, 62% had a birth plan, 74% had adequate knowledge of danger signs, while 64% and 37% reported maternal and newborn complications respectively. Accompaniment by a birth companion and saving money were considered the most useful planning steps. Knowledge of danger signs was associated with birth and emergency planning, and birth and emergency planning was associated with reported birth outcome. Birth and emergency planning as a critical component of antenatal care can influence birth outcomes and should be extended to all pregnant women.  (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[1]: 27-40.


La planification des naissances et d'urgence encourage la prise de décision rapide, aide à surmonter les obstacles aux soins de maternité qualifiés et réduit les décès maternels et néonatals évitables.  Une enquête  post-natale qui a été basée sur l’établissement, et  auprès  des 483 femmes en âge de procréer à Accra, au Ghana a déterminé les étapes de planification des naissances et d'urgence, la sensibilisation des signes de danger obstétrical, a rapporté des complications maternelles et néonatales et les résultats des naissances selon la durée du séjour à l'hôpital.  Les soins prénatals et l'accouchement surveillés étaient presque universels. Dans l'ensemble, 62% avaient un plan de naissance, 74% avaient une connaissance adéquate des signes de danger, tandis que 64% et 37% ont déclaré des complications maternelles et néonatales, respectivement. Le fait d’être accompagné  par un compagnon de naissance et d’économiser de l'argent ont été considérés comme les étapes de planification les plus utiles. La connaissance des signes de danger a été associée à la naissance et à la planification d'urgence et la planification des naissances et d'urgence a été associée à des résultats des naissances déclarées. La planification des naissances et d'urgence comme un élément essentiel des soins prénatals peuvent influer sur les résultats  de grossesses et devrait être mis a la portée de toutes les femmes enceintes (Afr J Reprod Health 2013; 17[1]: 27-40).

Keywords: pregnancy, obstetric complications, birth plan, Accra, Ghana

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