Childbirth information feeds for first time Malawian mothers who attended antenatal clinics|
Malata, Address & Chirwa, Ellen
Childbirth information received by mothers during antenatal period influences their satisfaction with the care during perinatal period. It is important for the midwives to know the type of information that satisfies their clients. This study found that the childbirth information that mothers received during antenatal period did not satisfy them. On the other hand, although some of the information received at home was useful, some information had potential to cause fear, anxiety and ill health on the mothers. The information needs of the clients were taken into account when designing a childbirth program for Malawi.
The specific objective of the study was to identify childbirth information needs of Malawian women as perceived by Malawian mothers and midwives in order to design a childbirth education program.
An exploratory, descriptive qualitative design was used to determine Malawian women’s childbirth information needs. A total of 150 first time mothers who attended antenatal clinics at selected central, district and mission hospitals were interviewed.Four focus group discussions were conducted with four different types of midwives to identify their perceptions of the childbirth information needs of Malawian women. These discussions were complimented by individual interviews with experienced midwives who held key positions in government and non governmental health organizations.
The content of the childbirth education program for pregnant mothers should include; care during pregnancy, danger signs during pregnancy, labor and after birth, the labor process and the postnatal care for the mother and the baby. Regarding cultural beliefs and taboos of childbirth, it was recommended that they should not be presented as a stand alone topic but be incorporated in other topics such as self care. Cultural beliefs and taboos vary with regions and tribes hence rather than generalizing, midwives should address specific issues prevalent in their work areas. The training manual should be translated into the vernacular language in view of the high illiteracy rate in the country.
The education program should address self-care during pregnancy, nutrition during pregnancy, common discomforts of pregnancy, danger signs of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and preparation for delivery. The program should also address the labor process, possible complications during labor and birth, caesarean birth and non pharmaceutical pain relief measures in labor. It was also evident that the program should deal with self-care during postnatal period, exclusive breast feeding, care of the newborn baby, danger signs of puerperium, care of the newborn baby and family planning.