Influences of social family dynamics in women’s decision making during pregnancy and child birth in rural Morocco.
Maternal mortality (MM) is a global health issue with the birth of 130 million babies born in the world every year. Eight hundred women die every single day while giving birth. There are many reasons that lead to their deaths during child-birth and one of these reasons is not attending health care facilities, which could be due to lack of medical facilities, financial barriers and distance. The decision making process to seek such health care is rarely done by mothers on their own. The aim of this research is to explore the decision making process amongst women living in rural areas of Morocco and find what and who influence the mother’s decisions. Findings: Living with in-laws or living separately did not influence the mother’s autonomy to make decisions. Furthermore male involvement was found to be a strong influencing factor in promoting positive health behaviours. Examples of positive health behaviours are: attending antenatal check-ups; eating correct and healthy foods; attending the hospital to deliver the baby; and encouraging mothers to vaccinate their children. The maternal health care facilities had mixed reviews; mothers reported both positive and negative treatment. Conclusion: The decision making process mothers go through during pregnancy, child-birth and during child-rearing is complex with many influencing factors. It is clear from the findings that there is no single change that can be made that will directly encourage women to attend professional health facilities throughout pregnancy and at the time of child-birth. However promoting male involvement, education for both men and women, monitoring and evaluating healthcare facilities and the workforce are several ways that can lead to improvements in mother’s attendance of healthcare facilities and aid in reducing maternal mortality.