Abstract

Introduction: Considering that empowering expectant mothers is an important issue to maintain a healthy pregnancy, this study was conducted to evaluate the predictors of empowerment among Iranian pregnant women.

Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted in Golestan, North of Iran in 2015. A total number of 161 pregnant women were selected through random cluster sampling from urban health centers, using PASS software. The socio-political, educational, and mental-financial predictors of empowerment were measured using a self-structured questionnaire during pregnancy and was analyzed by a linear regression model using SPSS version 16.

Results: The findings of linear regression showed that educational dimension of empowerment had the highest coefficient in the regression model, on total empowerment (βeta standardized coefficient [β]=0.696 with DW=1.830 and means error=0). The total empowerment score of pregnant women was controlled by individual factors such as the age of marriage (β-0.228), employment (β-0.210), and educational factors such as participation in prenatal education classes (β-0.246), and moral issues such as sense of spiritual support (β-0.217).

Conclusion: By recognizing and observing predictors of empowerment during pregnancy, health care providers can increase women's power over their pregnancy. Educational predictors of empowerment were the most important factors to empower women during pregnancy. The objective of childbirth education classes, therefore, should shift from simply giving information to women, towards giving them appropriate knowledge in order to provide them with empowerment during pregnancy.

 

Keywords: Empowerment, Pregnancy, Health
 
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