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Background: Antenatal care (ANC) offers an opportunity for early detection and prevention of pregnancy-related risk and complications, as well as for delivering effective therapy of both current and potential issues. Numerous studies have indicated that inadequate use of the available ANC services contributes to maternal and child morbidity and mortality. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate the utilization and assess the determinants of antenatal care services in Singrijan, Nagaland, India.
Method: A cross-sectional exploratory community-based study was conducted in Singrijan. Purposive sampling was used to recruit a total of 72 mothers with a history of at least one birth in the last two years. The interviewer administered a semi-structured questionnaire to gather socio-demographic, clinical, and antenatal care utilization data from all participants. Additionally, a separate questionnaire focused on reasons for not using ANC services was given to those with no prior ANC experience or fewer than four visits.
Results: Among the 72 women who participated, it was observed that 89% (64 mothers) received ANC in the last pregnancy. However, only 57% of these mothers met the recommended ANC visit requirements of a minimum of 4 visits and above. Long distance travel (39%), being healthy during a prior pregnancy (39%), and financial concerns (26%) were the top three reasons given for not going to the ANC facility. There was a statistically significant association between the less than 4 ANC visits and unattended home birth (AOR=4.318, 95% CI: 1.589, 11.736, p=0.003).
Conclusion: The study's findings identified a number of reasons that influences how often women use prenatal care services. Consequently, it is crucial to enhance awareness among all women regarding the importance of antenatal care (ANC) visits and the significance of opting for institutional deliveries. Achieving this goal involves empowering healthcare professionals, such as midwives and nurses in both public and private sectors. Additionally, providing education and encouragement to spouses is essential to garner their support in achieving this goal.