The majority of pregnancy-related problems are unpredictable and late phenomena. On the other hand, public awareness of pregnancy-related maternal and fetal health risks is very minimal. So far in Ethiopia, the husband or male partner is usually more influential, economically empowered and socially accepted than the woman. Counselling as many pregnant women as possible is one way of accessing the public by involving the husband, who can act as the second agent on dissemination of potential risks of pregnancy to the majority (the public).
Therefore, involving the husband/partner in antenatal visits has many advantages (Box 15.4).
Box 15.4 Involving the husband/partner in antenatal visits
- Helps the partner/husband to become aware of the danger symptoms the woman may encounter during the pregnancy.
- Will make him more caring and more concerned.
- Helps him to take action (early reporting) when danger symptoms appear.
- Alerts him to save money for possible emergencies, e.g. transport to the health facility.
- Alerts the family to decide on their preferred place of delivery.
- Helps the family get prepared for caring for the mother and her baby after the birth.
- Is a further entry point to increase general public awareness of the potential risks during pregnancy.