Date of Conferral





Public Health


Jacquie Fraser


Kano State in Northern Nigeria has very high maternal mortality rates. Early marriage and early pregnancies between 15 to 18 years of age are two of the most significant factors in the high maternal mortality rates in Kano State. This phenomenological qualitative research study focused on young first-time mothers’ experiences of seeking care between the ages of 15 and 18. The study’s theoretical framework was the feminist theory of intersectionality. Colaizzi’s seven-step method was the means used for data analysis. This study found that young adolescent first-time pregnant women in Kano City faced significant barriers at home and in health facilities when seeking care during their pregnancies. The barriers to care included harmful gender norms, stigma, discrimination, and increased abuse and disrespect for women perceived as younger, less educated, or less wealthy. Ultimately, the findings showed that the young women could not access health care due to these negative experiences. The implications for positive change included an increased understanding of the health care experiences of young women and the various intersecting factors that cause these experiences. Highlighting these experiences could be a way to start conversations on young, married, pregnant adolescents to remove barriers to their health.