Midwives’ perceptions of skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby after birth in selected rural primary healthcare facilities in Schoonoord, Limpopo province, South Africa
The implementation of skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby immediately after birth is associated with the successful initiation of exclusive breastfeeding. Midwives have the responsibility to promote and support breastfeeding and ensure that the mother and baby are in a satisfactory condition. The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the perceptions of midwives regarding the implementation of skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby after birth in selected primary health care facilities in Schoonoord, Makhuduthamaga Sub-district of the Limpopo province, South Africa. This study employed a qualitative, exploratory and descriptive approach to understand the perceptions of midwives with regards to implementation of skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby after birth. Face-to-face individual interviews were used to collect data and Tesch’s method of data analysis was applied to analyse data. Three themes emanated from the study, namely: awareness about skin-to-skin benefits, facilitating factors for successful implementation of skin-to-skin and perceived barriers to the practice of skin-to-skin during birth. This study recommends that on-going education and unitbased in-service training for mother-baby friendly practices should be established and strengthened. Furthermore, a model of support for mother-friendly care amongst midwives in primary healthcare facilities should be developed.
Keywords: Midwife, mother, baby, perceptions, skin-to-skin.