Background: Childbirth is a period characterized by severe pain, and most women desire to ameliorate their pain among other things by having their spouses present and involved in the birthing process. In developing countries like Nigeria, spousal involvement is still an emerging concept in childbirth. Aim: To investigate and provide an insight into spousal perceptions toward their participation and role in labor pain relief during childbirth in Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: A crossâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂsectional descriptive study of 142 spouses was conducted in the maternity units of four hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria, from June to December 2014. Data were collected through a pretested interviewâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂadministered 24 item questionnaire, the Abuja Instrument for Parturient Spouse. The data were analyzed statistically using ChiâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂsquare test for association between the variables and content analysis for openâÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂended questions. Results: Most (94.4%, 134/142) of the spouses had a positive perception toward labor pain relief. They believed that their presence and activities contributed to labor pain relief and are willing to be present at subsequent births. Conclusion: Findings in this study have revealed a positive trend in spousal perception and involvement during childbirth and pain relief, as contrast to the prevailing assumption that childbirth is an exclusive woman affair. Spousal presence during childbirth can be beneficial not only to the woman but also to the spouse and family.
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