BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
An effective intervention against maternal mortality exists yet millions of pregnant women die of preventable complications due to lack ofknowledge of current government intervention (Bhatia &Cleland, 2009). High maternal death in Nigeria is of utmost concern to publichealth (Ekele, Shehu, Ahmed&Fache, 2008). Knowledge and attitude towards ‘Focus Antenatal Care’ (FANC) utilization by pregnant womenare key to the usage of Antenatal Care facilities for the reduction of maternal and infant mortality (Munjanja, Lindmark&Nystrom, 2006).Efforts have been made by the government and Non-Governmental Agencies to reduce maternal and infant mortality. These effortsaccording to Umeora, Sunday-Adeoyeand Ugwu, (2008), have made little or no impact in Nigeria because of health ignorance of effectiveantenatal care services in Nigeria. In spite of the years of defeat in reducing maternal mortality, scientific knowledge about it continued upuntil now. Antenatal care is one of the basic components of maternal care on which the life of mothers and babies depend(Saseendran,Mary & William, 2004). Antenatal care (ANC) is an umbrella term used to describe the medical procedures and care that arecarried out during pregnancy. It is the care a woman receives throughout the period of her pregnancy and is important in helping to ensurea healthy pregnancy state and safe childbirth (Magadi, Madise & Diamond, 2010). Pregnancy causes many physical and psychologicalchanges in a woman. A nurse who works with pregnant women and their families must be familiar with these changes to provideanticipatory guidelines and this can be done by providing adequate pre-natal care. One of the ways to keep the expectant mother healthyand able to take self care is to give timely need based health education to the woman. Nisar and White (2003) stated that antenatal care(ANC) is an important determinant of good maternal health. Lack of ante natal care is a risk factor for maternal mortality, and reduction ofmaternal mortality requires early detection of high risk pregnancies through proper ante natal care. Maternal health refers to the health ofwomen during pregnancy, childbirth, and the post partum period. It encompasses the health care dimensions of family planning,conception, prenatal, and postnatal care in order to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality (WHO, 2005). Good maternal health can bepromoted through proper maternal health education which invariably influences maternal health attitude. Positive health education andattitude is capable of influencing maternal morbidity and mortality among pregnant women, thus the need for the study.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Good health for mothers is an important public health concern. Death during childbirth is often the concluding event in a long story of painand suffering. Millions more are Le with permanent disability and damage which impact their ability to undertake social and economicresponsibilities and share in the development of their communities. The deaths, many of which may be preventable, impact women whoare not only childbearing but are also often the mainstays within a family – as carers to the young and old, bread winners and educators ofchildren (Scotland Malawi Partnership, 2010). Maternal morbidity and mortality constitute a serious health problem that requiressystematic investigations and effective health education of pregnant women to forestall the increase of infant mortality. Hence, the problemof this study posed in question form is: does health education during antennal pose positive effect among pregnant mothers in Oyo State,Nigeria?