“Everywhere in the community you are seen as a bad luck midwife”: experiences of midwives upon conducting stillbirth deliveries in Northern Ghana
Keywords:Midwife, delivery, stillbirth, social effect, psychological effect
AbstractMidwives have a huge responsibility when it comes to conducting deliveries. They expect to save the life of both the mother and child. The purpose of the study was to explore the experiences of midwives and their coping strategies when they conduct a stillbirth delivery. The study used an exploratory qualitative approach to understand the experiences of midwives upon conducting a stillbirth delivery. The study was conducted among 15 midwives in one district in northern Ghana. Participants were purposively selected and data collected by individual face-to-face in-depth interviews. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed using content analysis. The study findings indicate that midwives who conduct stillbirth delivery suffer psychological effects such as sadness, guilt, sleeplessness and loss of appetite. They also suffer social effects such as social stigma, social withdrawal, altered relationships and difficulty communicating the news to the affected mother. The midwives coped with the psychosocial effects upon conducting stillbirth deliveries through spirituality, diversional therapy, support from peers and support from family. There is a need for a systematic structure in the hospital to provide psychological assistance to midwives who perform stillbirth deliveries and are emotionally affected. Keywords: Midwife, delivery, stillbirth, social effect, psychological effect
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