The situation of women's access to prenatal care in the United States of America, Australia, Africa and the Middle East: A literature review

Haseli, A.; Egdampour, F.; Hosainpour, F.; Solaimani, M.; Khoey, E. Merghati
June 2014
Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine;Jun2014 Supplement, Vol. 12, p125
Academic Journal
Introduction: Prenatal care is a key strategy for reducing maternal mortality & morbidity rate; but women report many barriers to accessing prenatal care. This article reviews the literature from 1980 to present on access to prenatal care and barriers around the world. Materials and Methods: This article has been prepared with study of more than 63 articles to the computer through variety of databases including: Medlin, Google, pub med, Science direct and academic books. Results: From 1980, maternal mortality has decreased due to of pregnancy complications; one of the major causes has improved prenatal care in the past century. But there are many barriers to accessing prenatal care. Barriers can be classified into social, maternal and structural dimensions. Societal and maternal reasons cited for poor motivation include a fear of medical procedures or disclosing the pregnancy to others, depression, and a belief that prenatal care is unnecessary. Structural barriers include long wait times, the location and attitude of the clinic staff and provider, the cost of services. The most common reasons related to barrier has been reported insurance issues, the race and culture in the United States of America and Australia, poverty in the Middle East and poverty and low level of education in the African countries. Conclusion: Quality prenatal care can potentially reduce the rates of infant and maternal mortality and morbidity and reduce rates of long-term disability. Midwives and nurses as primary care providers should be aware of the potential barriers to prenatal care, especially in developing countries.


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