Late booking for antenatal care is a frequent occurrence among pregnant women in Nigeria unlike in most developed countries. The objective of the study was to determine the maternal, socio-cultural, religious, and institutional/systemic factors that determine late booking for antenatal care among pregnant women in Enugu, Nigeria. Descriptive, cross-sectional questionnaire based method was employed in the study. A proportionate stratified sampling technique was used to select 282 pregnant women from three selected hospitals for the study. A validated structured questionnaire constructed by the researchers was used for collection of data. Findings were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Respondents revealed that maternal factors such as health status in present pregnancy [205(70.7%)], ignorance of proper gestational age to register for antenatal [125(43.1%)] and experience from previous pregnancies [101(34.8%)] determine timing of booking among pregnant women. Socio-cultural factors such as husband’s decision [100(34.5%)] and preference for mother in-law/friends/other women’s advice during the early weeks of pregnancy [88(26.9%)] determine timing of booking. Religious factor which mostly determine late booking in the study was preference for prayer and faith healing [157(54.1%)]. Institutional/systemic factors such as long waiting time in hospitals [142(49.0%)] and very frequent antenatal care schedule [129(44.5%)] determine late booking for antenatal care among pregnant women. Health status in present pregnancy, husband’s decision, long waiting time at the clinic and frequent number of ante-natal visits are the major determinants of late booking in Enugu. There is need for transitioning from traditional approach of ANC to Focused Antenatal Care (FANC) model recommended by WHO.
Key words: Determinants, Enugu, late ante natal booking.