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ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 364243, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/364243
Clinical Study

An Evaluation of the Timing and Use of Healthcare during Pregnancy in Birmingham, UK and Pretoria, South Africa

1University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, Edgbaston, West Midlands, Birmingham B15 2PR, UK
2Department of Paediatrics (Neonatology) Steve Biko Academic Hospital, University of Pretoria, P.O. Box 667 Malherbe Street, Capital Park, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
3Department of Fetal and Maternal Medicine, Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Metchley Park Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TG, UK

Received 25 October 2010; Accepted 9 December 2010

Academic Editors: B. Pertl and J. C. Pezzullo

Copyright © 2011 Mark Robert Openshaw et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objective. A pilot study to compare the rates of antenatal healthcare use in Birmingham, UK and Pretoria, South Africa, and identify differences in knowledge and perception of antenatal healthcare. Subjects. 62 women, 31 at each location <24 hours after delivery. Results. Women from Birmingham use healthcare services earlier ( 𝑃 . 0 0 0 1 ) and more often during pregnancy ( 𝑃 . 0 0 0 1 ). Women from Birmingham identified more conditions that may affect pregnancy (median 6 versus 3 reasons) and were less aware of HIV. In addition they perceived antenatal healthcare as relatively more important for advice and reassurance about pregnancy, whilst women from Pretoria had more problems with transport and clinic overcrowding. Conclusions. Increasing education on the importance of antenatal healthcare and medical problems during pregnancy may help improve antenatal healthcare use in Pretoria. Improving transport links and overcrowding in clinics in Pretoria may also help increase use. Measuring maternal outcomes and confirming these findings in a larger population are important for future studies.