Knowledge, attitudes and use of labour analgesia by mothers attending the antenatal clinic in Mulago national referral hospital.
Nabukenya, Mary Theresa
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Introduction: Childbirth is one of the most painful experiences of a woman’s life. Authorities in the fields of obstetrics and anaesthesia encourage use of labour analgesia. Unlike in high-income countries, pain relief in labour in Africa, particularly Uganda, is a fairly new concept. This study was carried out to generate valuable information on the parturient factors that affect use of labour analgesia in Uganda, which would be used as a foundation to establish labour analgesia protocols. Objective: The objective was to assess the knowledge, attitudes and use of labour analgesia among women attending the antenatal clinic at Mulago National Referral Hospital. Methodology: The study was a cross-sectional qualitative study of 1293 participants, to whom questionnaires were administered. Results: The study revealed that only 7.04% of the participants had knowledge of labour analgesia. 87.91% of the multiparous mothers did not have labour analgesia in their previous deliveries, although 81.83% of them had delivered in a national referral hospital. The commonest reason for refusal of labour analgesia was to experience natural childbirth. The greatest concern about labour analgesia was that the baby may be affected. 87.91% of the participants wanted labour analgesia for their next delivery. Conclusion and recommendation: There is a great lack of knowledge concerning labour analgesia among our mothers. An awareness campaign should be launched to educate the women about labour analgesia, and an audit of healthcare providers’ experiences with labour analgesia should be carried out.