Perceptions Of Postnatal Mothers Regarding Perinatal Loss Management By Health Workers In The City Of Harare Zimbabwe

Shila Matsikwa


Perinatal loss is defined as any loss, from conception through to the first 28 days of life, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death and is considered as one of the most stressful moments in any mother’s experience. Despite the increase of perinatal loss through abortions (17,8 per 1000 women 15-49), stillbirths (77 per 1000 live births), early neonatal deaths (140 per 1000 live births) and its devastating effects, there is death of information regarding perception of post natal mother management following perinatal loss. Anecdotal evidence gathered from the study sites by the researcher suggests that, care rendered to bereaved mothers appears to be erratic, inconsistent and incomplete. The purpose of the study was to explore the perceptions of postnatal mothers regarding management following perinatal loss in the City of Harare Clinics, to identify gaps and improve the quality of care rendered. A descriptive qualitative study design was used to explore the perceptions of postnatal mothers regarding management following perinatal loss. Purposive sampling was used to select one key informant (midwife) and twelve (12) mothers who had experienced perinatal loss through abortion, stillbirths and early neonatal deaths. Data was analyzed manually using thematic analysis. The study findings generated two major themes, namely facilitating factors and barriers to the management of postnatal mothers regarding management. The overall discussion was that the majority of the women did not receive holistic care with regard to perinatal loss. The care was fragmented. The study recommended training of the midwives in bereavement counseling to ensure quality service was provided to the bereaved mothers.

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