Mothers’ experiences and perceptions of facility-based delivery care in rural Ethiopia
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionHealth Services Insights (HSI Journal). 2021, 14, 1-7.
: In Ethiopia, delivery wards are a part of primary healthcare services. However, although the maternal mortality rate is very high, approximately 50% of mothers use skilled birth attendants. This study focused on how women in a rural southern district of Ethiopia experience maternity care offered at the local delivery wards. In this qualitative, exploratory study, 19 women who had given birth in a healthcare facility were interviewed in 2019. Individual in-depth interviews were supplemented with observations conducted at 2 different delivery wards in the same district in 2020. Two main themes emerged from the thematic content analysis: increased awareness and safety were the primary reasons for giving birth at a healthcare facility, and traditions and norms affected women’s birth experiences in public maternity wards. The main shortcomings were a shortage of medicine, ambulance not arriving in time, and lack of care at night. For some women, being assisted by a male midwife could be challenging, and the inability to afford necessary medicine made adequate treatment inaccessible. Providing continuous information gave the women a certain feeling of control. Strong family involvement indicated that collectivistic expectations were key to rural delivery wards. The healthcare system must be structured to meet women’s needs. Moreover, managers and midwives should ensure that birthing women receive high-quality, safe, timely, and respectful care. Keywords: Women, childbirth, primary healthcare, person-centered care, rural, Ethiopia, interviews, observation