An Exploration of The Role Played by Men During Pregnancy and Childbirth in Kenya

A Case of Kitui West Sub County


  • Paschalia Kavuli Mbutu Marist International University College
  • Wanjiru Gichuhi University of Nairobi image/svg+xml



ANC-attendees, non-ANC-attendees, husbands, fiancées, significant others


According to gender mainstreaming principles, male involvement during pregnancy and childbirth is a pivotal strategy for improving birth outcomes. The objective of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the role played by husbands and fiancées during pregnancy and childbirth. To gather data, 135 Antenatal care (ANC) attendees, 30 non-ANC-attendees, 5 nurses and 8 TBAs were interviewed from 10 randomly selected health facilities from 18 health facilities that offer comprehensive health care. This information was collected between 2017 and 2018 in Kitui West- Sub-County, Kenya and was collected through asking two pertinent questions; a) Whether expectant women sought permission before choosing place of delivery, b) Who determined final place of delivery. The study utilized quantitative and qualitative methods of study. Analysis of the study was done by content. From the results; 50 percent of Final place of delivery indicated that; 64 percent out of 135 ANC-attendees delivered in a health facility, 34 percent out of this number were encouraged by significant others. Fifty six percent out of the significant ones were husbands who directed their wives to deliver in a health facility. Out of 49 ANC-attendees who delivered at home, 36.7 percent were influenced by significant others. Out of these significant others, 27 percent were husbands. On the other hand, 6 respondents out of 30 non- ANC-attendees, delivered at home having been instructed by their husbands.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Paschalia Kavuli Mbutu, Marist International University College


Wanjiru Gichuhi, University of Nairobi

Senior Lecturer, Population Studies & Research Institute


Bhalerao, V. R., Galwankar, M. M., Kowli, S. S., Kumar, R. R., and Chaturvedi, R. M. (1984). “Contribution of the Education of the Prospective Fathers to the Success of Maternal Health Care Programme”. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine 30: 10–12.

Brunson, J. (2010). Confronting Maternal Mortality, controlling Birth in Nepal: The Gendered Politics of Receiving Biomedical Care at Birth. Soc Sci Med. 2010; 71:1719–27. DOI:

Carter, M. (2002). “Husbands and Maternal Health Matters in Rural Guatemala: Wives’ Reports on their Spouses’ Involvement in Pregnancy and Birth”. Social Science and Medicine 55: 437–450. DOI:

Dudgeon, M. R. and Inhorn, M. C. (2004). “Men’s Influences on Women’s Reproductive Health: Medical Anthropological Perspectives”. Social Science and Medicine 59: 1379–1395. DOI:

Kahsay, &Gebrehiwot, (2012) Assessment of Husbands’ Participation on Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness in Enderta Woreda, Tigray Region, Ethiopia. Retrieved from 29, December 2017.

Kaye, D. K., Kakaire, O., Nakimuli, A., Osinde, M. O., Mbalinda, S. N., &Kakande, N. (2014). Male Involvement During Pregnancy and Childbirth: Men’s Perceptions, Practices and Experiences During Care for Women Who Developed Childbirth Complications in Mulago Hospital, Uganda. Retrieved from 29, December 2017. DOI:

Kenya National Bureau of Statics & ICF Macro (2009). Retrieved from on 15, January 2016.

Lewis, S., Lee, A., &Simkhada, P. (2015). The Role of Husbands in Maternal Health and Safe Childbirth in Rural Nepal: A Qualitative Study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2015) 15:162 DOI 10.1186/s12884-015-0599-8 DOI:

Magoma, M., Requejo, J., Campbell, O., Cousens, S., and Filippi, V. (2010). High ANC Coverage and Low Skilled Attendance in A Rural Tanzanian District. Retrieved from on 12, January 2018 DOI:


Mullany, B. C, Becker, S., and Hindin, M. J. (2007). “The Impact of Including Husbands in Antenatal Health Education Services on Maternal Health Practices in Urban Nepal: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial”. Health Education Research 22: 166–176. DOI:

Owino, J. & Legault, F. (2013). A Practice Theory for Antenatal Care in Rural Kenya. The International Journal of Social Sciences, 10 (1), 2.

Varkey, L. C., Mishra, A. Das, A., Ottolenghi, E., Huntington, D., Adamchak, S., and Khan, M. E. (2004). Involving Men in Maternity Care in India. Washington DC: Population Council. DOI:

Woldemicael, G. (2007). Do women with higher autonomy seek more maternal and child DOI:

health-care? Evidence from Ethiopia and Eritrea, 27. Retrieved from http://su.divaportal. On 29, December 2017.




How to Cite

Mbutu, P. K., & Gichuhi, W. (2021). An Exploration of The Role Played by Men During Pregnancy and Childbirth in Kenya: A Case of Kitui West Sub County. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 9(6), 01–09.