Pregnant Women’s Knowledge and Desire Towards Labor Companionship and its Associated Factors at Public Hospitals in South Wollo Zone, Northeast Ethiopia

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 Lecturer, Department of Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

2 Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

3 Assistant professor of Pediatrics and Child Health Nursing, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health Nursing, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

4 Lecturer, Department of Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Debre Birhan University, Debre Birhan, Ethiopia


Background & aim: Companionship in labor is highly effective in encouraging facility-based delivery and has a positive effect on maternal self-control during childbirth. However, there have been few studies in Ethiopia to examine this issue. Therefore, this study assessed pregnant women’s knowledge and desire towards labor companionship and its associated factors at public hospitals in South Wollo Zone, Northeast Ethiopia.
Methods: A facility-based cross-sectional study design was employed from 1st November to 9th December, 2020. Study participants consisted of 416 pregnant women, who were selected by a systematic random sampling technique. Data were collected using structured questioners including socio-demographic characteristics, obstetric history, knowledge and desire towards companionship in labor, through face-to-face interviews.
Results: In this study, 19.5% of respondents have good knowledge while 87.3% of them have desire to have labor companion.  Diploma and higher educational level (AOR=3.23 95% CI: 1.06, 9.86), prior birth at private health-facility AOR=3.95, 95% CI: 1.08, 7.49) and having the experience of previous labor companion (AOR=2.36, 95% CI: 1.27, 4.38) were significantly associated with good knowledge. Rural residence (AOR=6.8, 95% CI: 1.40, 9.99) and history of having labor companion (AOR=5.34, 95% CI: 1.53, 9.64) were associated with desire to have companion.
Conclusion: Small percentage of pregnant women had awareness on labor companionship while a large percentage of women desire companionship during childbirth. Therefore, health care professionals should educate perinatal women about labor companions and allow them to have a support person throughout labor and delivery at a health facility to increase their awareness and desire.  



Every year, around 303,000 women worldwide die because of problems during pregnancy or childbirth. Developing regions account for approximately 99% (30, 2000) of the estimated global maternal death rate (1,2). Since 2000, Ethiopia has reduced maternal and child mortality by half, but a maternal mortality rate of 412 per 100,000 live births and a child mortality rate of 67 per 1,000 are still too high (3). Efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity have focused on improving provision of and access to facility-based childbirth and, as a result, institutional births are increasing throughout many low- and middle-income countries (4).

Historically women have been attended to and supported by other women during labor and birth. However, in many countries, as more women are giving birth in hospital rather than at home, continuous support during labor has become the exception rather than the norm. This may contribute to the dehumanization of women's childbirth experiences (5,6). Companionship in labor is highly effective in encouragin

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