The lived experiences of postnatal mothers receiving birth companionship care in Katavi region: a qualitative study

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The University of Dodoma
Background Even though there is a great effort to improve maternal health, 243:100000 per live births of maternal deaths occur every year. This overwhelming rate of maternal deaths occurs amid several global preventive strategies, including the sustainable development goal number 3 which targets a reduction of maternal deaths to 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030. Other strategies, includes birth companionship which is one of the most recent aspects in improving maternal and perinatal outcome during intrapartum care. Global trend shows an increase in the number of countries that continue to implement the birth companionship policy as per World Health Organisation guidelines. Tanzania is among the Eastern African countries that have piloted the policy. Therefore, this study explored the lived experience of postnatal women receiving birth companionship in the Katavi region. Methods The study applied a phenomenological study design where eleven (11) postnatal mothers were recruited conveniently from seven health facilities in the Katavi region to ensure the study dug deep into participant's lived experiences. Data were collected using in-depth interviews and analysed by an inductive thematic approach. Results It was found that six themes and nineteen (19) subthemes merged in this study. The main themes were 1) women’s choice of birth companions, 2) Mixed feelings of postnatal women on the presence of BC during the intrapartum period, 3) Different types of services offered to postnatal women by BC, 4) Availability of BC during intrapartum period 5) Different between formal and non-formal BC services, 6) Challenges faced by postnatal women as a result of having BC. The results indicate that women chose their family members and traditional birth attendants to be their birth companions. Birth companions were reported to be beneficial in providing Conclusion In this study, postnatal women reported having positive experiences when they had a companion during childbirth, regardless of the presence of healthcare providers. The women had diverse ways of selecting their BC and reported mixed feelings about having a BC during labor and delivery. The BC had different tasks in providing care including emotional support, instrumental support, nutritional support, physical support, giving information, and laundry support.
Dissertation ( MSc. Midwifery)
Postnatal mothers, Childbirth, Birth companion, Postnatal care, Birth companionship care
Linja, C. (2023). The lived experiences of postnatal mothers receiving birth companionship care in Katavi region: a qualitative study (Master's Dissertation) The University of Dodoma