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Background: Globally, millions of women and newborns suffer from illness related to pregnancy and childbirth each year as result of low maternity care services utilization with higher share being from poor countries.
Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in Debre Tabor town from February 20 to March 21, 2013. Three hundred and seventeen women who gave birth one year prior to the study period participated in the study. The sample size was determined by single population proportion formula with assumption of 95% confidence interval, 5% margin of error. We used a pretested structured questionnaire for data collection. Five diploma-graduated trained data collectors and one BSC graduate supervisor collected the data. We entered data in to computer by Epidata version 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS 20 for window. The associations between variables were analyzed by simple and multiple logistic regressions.
Results: The Antenatal Care (ANC) utilization level in the study area was 55.7%. Only 2.6% of the respondents had adequate ANC services. 20.8% of the participants had early ANC visit while 10.1% of them had sufficient contents of care. 14.3% had adequate number of ANC visits. The main predictors of ANC utilization were educational status of mothers, plan of pregnancy, decision-making power of mother on ANC utilization, prior experience of abortion and stillbirth.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the overall ANC utilization level was low. Educational status, decision-making power and monthly income were found to affect ANC utilization. Hence, it was recommended that the responsible bodies should strive improve the decision-making power of women by increasing opportunities for women education.