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Beliefs, Aetiological Explanation and Healthcare Practices Associated with Preterm Delivery in a Selected Yoruba Rural Community in South West, Nigeria

Timothy Olanrewaju Alabi, Joshua Oyeniyi Aransiola, Olakunle Abiona Ogunbameru


Reduction of incidence and effects of preterm delivery is crucial to neonatal and maternal health. This depends on the quality and timeliness of the healthcare practices which has been poor amongst rural women. This paper used qualitative methods to explore beliefs and narratives about preterm delivery as well as preferred treatment options in a rural community of Osun State. Findings revealed that pregnancy is considered a divine art and newborn, a God’s emissary, therefore, only God knows the right time for delivery; thus, negating the notion of preterm or post-term delivery. It is believed that a pregnant woman carries both terrestrial and celestial natures; hence, the need for biomedical (for terrestrial) and spiritual (delivery outcome and survival) attentions for the best pregnancy outcome. As a result, more expectant mothers visit biomedical settings for antenatal clinics yet preferred the service of spiritual homes for delivery.


childhood disease; maternal health; pregnancy care; Yoruba culture; neonate

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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