Financial Preparedness for Birth Among Rural Zambian Women: Do Antenatal Care Contacts Make a Difference?



Financial constraints are one of the biggest barriers for women of low-income countries to receive necessary reproductive health services. Educating women about the importance of saving money has been incorporated as a component of antenatal care (ANC) contacts, but little is known whether ANC contacts influence women’s saving.


A secondary analysis was conducted on data from a cross-sectional household survey study of 1109 women who recently gave birth in two rural districts of Zambia.


Receiving ANC contacts early and often and discussing saving money during ANC were associated with saving money for the mother’s birth, but not with saving enough money for the most recent birth.


Continued effort is needed to encourage women to attend ANC contacts earlier and more frequently. Additionally, the importance of saving money for birth should be discussed during ANC contacts. Future studies need to explore why women’s action in saving does not necessarily lead to saving enough for childbirth.

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This program was developed and implemented in collaboration with Merck for Mothers, Merck’s 10-year, a $500 million initiative to help create a world where no woman dies giving life. Merck for Mothers is known as MSD for Mothers outside the United States and Canada (MRK 1846-06500.COL). The development of this article was additionally supported in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1130334) and The ELMA Foundation (ELMA-15-F0010) funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect positions or policies of Merck, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, or The ELMA Foundation.

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Correspondence to HaEun Lee.

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Lee, H., Veliz, P.T., Ray, E.T. et al. Financial Preparedness for Birth Among Rural Zambian Women: Do Antenatal Care Contacts Make a Difference?. Matern Child Health J 25, 22–26 (2021).

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  • Africa
  • Antenatal care
  • Financial barrier
  • Reproductive health
  • Saving for birth