Introduction: Perceived stress is a real or apparent inconsistency between environmental demands required for survival and an individual’s capacity to adjust to these requirements. Worldwide stress is a very common problem. Females are at increased risk to develop perceived stress in antepartum period. Stress during pregnancy has serious effects for both the mother and newborn. However this problem doesn’t get adequate attention during antenatal care in Ethiopia.
Objective: To assess the magnitude of perceived stress and associated factors among pregnant women attending antenatal care at Arba Minch town governmental health institutions, Southern Ethiopia, 2020 Methods : Institution based cross-sectional study was employed from March 16 to April 23, 2020. A total of 460 mothers were included in the study. Systematic sampling was used to select participants. Data were collected using structured pretested questionnaire, entered in to epi data version 3.1 and then exported to SPSS version 25 for analysis. A bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with outcome variable and variables with P value <0.05 in the final model were considered statistically significant.
Result: The magnitude of perceived stress during pregnancy was 23.1% (95% CI; 19.16-26.96%). Multigravida (AOR= 3.95, 95% CI; 1.94 – 8.02), ANC initiation <16 weeks of gestation (AOR= 2.05, 95% CI; 1.18 – 3.57), first trimester (AOR= 3.03, 95% CI; 1.34 – 6.85) and unplanned pregnancy (AOR= 4.32, 95% CI; 2.55 – 7.31) were associated factors of perceived stress during pregnancy.
Conclusion and recommendation: The findings showed that the magnitude of perceived stress during pregnancy is high. Gravidity, time of ANC initiation, gestational age and status of pregnancy were statistically significant associated factors of perceived stress during pregnancy. Assessment and provision of emotional support for pregnant women is very crucial. Key words : Antenatal care, Ethiopia, Perceived stress, Pregnant women