Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Lucy Mkandawire- Valhmu

Committee Members

Julia A snethen, Peninnah M Kako, Alice F Yan


access, gender role, Pregnant, Prenatal Care, rural women, Saudi Arabia


It is well documented that rural pregnant women around the world experience barriers to accessing prenatal care. Existing literature is based on research that mainly examines the experiences of rural women with prenatal care access and utilization in Western, African, and some Middle Eastern countries. However, the available literature has little information about Saudi rural women’s experience with prenatal care access generally and no information about the experiences of pregnant women in the rural areas of Jazan. To address this gap, this qualitative study was employed to gain in-depth understanding of the experiences of Saudi women in accessing prenatal care services in rural areas in the Jazan region of Saudi Arabia. This study was guided by a postcolonial feminist framework that acknowledges the experiences of women with respect to the cultural context in which women live without judgment and without engaging in a comparative analysis with women from Western nations. A purposive sample of thirty Saudi women were interviewed. Data were collected using in-depth individual interviews, field notes, and observation methods. Data were analyzed using software program (ATLAS.ti) and thematic analysis. The findings derived from women’s narratives were centered on one major theme, accessing rural prenatal care with an emphasis on the sociocultural context in which women experience pregnancy, their position within traditional gender roles, and the structural factors that impact prenatal care access. The findings of this study suggest that healthcare providers need to recognize rural women’s unique needs and preferences and adjust the care accordingly, involve husbands in prenatal care, and promote communication with women and their husbands to enhance prenatal care access and utilization. Future research is needed to explore the perspectives of husbands and healthcare providers on accessing rural prenatal care to gain deeper insight from these key players who also impact prenatal care access for rural Saudi women.

Included in

Nursing Commons