African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Perceptions of postpartum mothers towards the care provided by male student midwives at labour units in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Courage S. Mthombeni, Maria S. Maputle, Lunic B. Khoza


Student midwives should always provide cultural sensitive care and respect the rights of every woman when choosing health care providers during pregnancy and childbirth. The aim of this study was to describe and explore the perceptions of postpartum mothers towards the care provided by male student midwives during their midwifery practice. A qualitative explorative, descriptive, and contextual research design was used. A non-probability, convenience sampling method was used to sample 42 postpartum mothers who received care from male student midwives at the five district hospitals in Limpopo province, South Africa. Data was collected through in-depth individual interviews until data saturation was reached by repeating data. Open coding approach was used to analyse data. All ethical principles were adhered to. Results revealed that postpartum mothers, preferred care by male students‘ midwives; they were viewed to be respectful, sympathetic, and caring; however, they discussed their fears of midwifery practice with mothers. It is recommended that midwives should play a pivotal role in informing pregnant women during antenatal visits that male student midwives can conduct deliveries. The community awareness campaign should be strengthened that male student midwives are availability in maternity units.

Keywords: Male student midwives, midwifery practice, perceptions, and postpartum mothers

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