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Women's perceptions of Nurse-Midwives' caring behaviours during perinatal loss in Lilongwe, Malawi: An Exploratory study

ANK Simwaka
B de Kok
W Chilemba


The objective for this study was to explore women’s perceptions of and satisfaction with nursing care they received following stillbirth and neonatal death in villages around a community hospital in Lilongwe.
This qualitative, exploratory study through a mixture of purposive and snowball sampling, recruited 20 women who had lost a child through stillbirth or neonatal death in the past 2 years. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews in the privacy of the homes of the women. All interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim and were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Almost half of the respondents expressed satisfaction with the way nurses cared for them after experiencing perinatal loss, although some felt unable to comment on the quality of care received. However, several bereaved women were dissatisfied with how nurses handled their loss. They noted nurses not providing attention or explanations and some even attributed the death of their child to nurses’ neglect.
Interventions are needed which foster awareness where nurses become more sensitive to the mothers’ emotional needs in an equally sensitive health care system. There is also need for more research into care provided following perinatal deaths in resource-poor settings to increase the evidence-base for informed and improved care for women who have experienced child loss.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-7262
print ISSN: 1995-7270