Knowledge and preference towards mode of delivery among pregnant women in the United Arab Emirates: The Mutaba’ah study

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Background: The rate of cesarean section (CS) is growing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pregnant women’s knowledge on the mode of delivery, factors associated with lack of adequate knowledge, and preference towards CS delivery were investigated. Methods: Baseline cross-sectional data from 1617 pregnant women who participated in the Mutaba’ah Study between September 2018 and March 2020 were analyzed. A self-administered questionnaire inquiring about demographic and maternal characteristics, ten knowledge-based statements about mode of delivery, and one question about preference towards mode of delivery was used. Knowledge on the mode of delivery was categorized into “adequate (total score 6–10)” or “lack of adequate (total score 0–5)” knowledge. Crude and multivariable models were used to identify factors associated with “lack of adequate” knowledge on the mode of delivery and factors associated with CS preference. Results: A total of 1303 (80.6%) pregnant women (mean age 30.6 ± 5.8 years) completed the questionnaire. The majority (57.1%) were ≥30 years old, in their third trimester (54.5%), and had at least one child (76.6%). In total, 20.8% underwent CS delivery in the previous pregnancy, and 9.4% preferred CS delivery for the current pregnancy. A total of 78.4% of pregnant women lacked adequate knowledge on the mode of delivery. The level of those who lacked adequate knowledge was similar across women in different pregnancy trimesters. Young women (18–24 years) (adjusted odds ratios (aOR), 3.07, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07–8.86) and women who had CS delivery in the previous pregnancy (aOR, 1.90, 95% CI, 1.06–3.40) were more likely to be classified with a lack of adequate knowledge. Age (aOR, 1.08, 95% CI, 1.02–1.14), employment (aOR, 1.96, 95% CI, 1.13–3.40), or previous CS delivery (aOR, 31.10, 95% CI, 17.71–55.73) were associated with a preference towards CS delivery. Conclusion: This study showed that pregnant women may not fully appreciate the health risks associated with different modes of delivery. Therefore, antenatal care appointments should include a balanced discussion on the potential benefits and harms associated with different delivery modes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Knowledge
  • Maternal health
  • Mode of delivery
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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