Background: The link between poverty and adverse maternal outcomes has been studied largely by means of
quantitative data. We explore poor urban Kenyan women’s views and lived experiences of the relationship
between economic disadvantage and unpleasant maternal outcomes.
Method: Secondary analysis of focus group discussions and in-depth individual interviews data with women in
two slums in Nairobi, Kenya.
Results: Urban poor women in Nairobi associate poverty with adverse maternal outcomes. However, their
accounts and lived experiences of the impact of poverty on maternal outcomes underscore dynamics other than
those typically stressed in the extant literature. To them, poverty primarily generates adverse maternal outcomes by
exposing women to exceedingly hard and heavy workloads during pregnancy and the period surrounding it; to
intimate partner violence; as well as to inhospitable and unpleasant treatment by service providers.
Conclusions: Poverty has wider and more intricate implications for maternal outcomes than are acknowledged in
extant research. To deliver their expected impact, current efforts to promote better maternal outcomes must be
guided by a more thorough perspective of the link between women’s livelihoods and their health and wellbeing
Chimaraoke joined APHRC in 2006 as a Sabbatical Fellow and was appointed to the position of Associate Research Scientist in August 2007. Prior to this, he worked with universities in Nigeria as a lecturer and researcher,...