African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Reasons for low risk pregnant women self-referral to the hospital for delivery

NM Vellem, N Tshotsho


The purpose of the study was to describe the possible reasons for low risk pregnant women’s self - referral to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (CMH) for delivery resulting in the under - utilisation of the Midwifery Obstetric Unit (MOU) in Mdantsane. The population comprised low- risk pregnant self-referred women for delivery at CMH. A semi - structured questionnaire comprising both open and closed ended questions was used to collect data from a convenient sample of forty eight (n=48) participants. The results indicated that the MOU closed very early, whereas the CMH apart from operating all day is nearer to their residential homes; midwives have negative attitude towards the patients and referred pregnant women to CMH irrespective of risk level. It is concluded that the low risk pregnant women are ignorant of the services and mode of operation of the MOU. Also, the negative attitude exhibited by the midwives drives them to CMH for delivery. There is need to educate the pregnant women about the services and mode of operations of the MOU; improve accessibility as well as institute a functional referral system.

Keywords: Antenatal care, Midwifery Obstetric Unit, low risk pregnancy, high risk pregnancy, self referral.

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