n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Experiences of midwives regarding nursing practice breakdown in maternity units at a selected public hospital in KwaZula-Natal

Volume 18 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Pregnant women have certain expectations about the midwife and their skills. If such expectations are not met, substandard care occurs. Such substandard care has a negative impact on both the pregnant women and the Department of Health. The aim of the study was to explore and describe the experiences of midwives regarding practice breakdown in maternity units at a public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal in order to improve the quality of care in maternity units. A qualitative research study that was exploratory, descriptive and contextual in nature was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 midwives. Data was transcribed verbatim, then organised into codes. The study revealed that the majority of the participants faced practice breakdown, which mostly starts during ante-natal care visits. Midwives who attended to pregnant women during ante-natal care did not follow set protocols and guidelines and this resulted in complications during delivery. Midwives were of the opinion that the management did not care about their challenges and did not attempt to resolve the challenges. Therefore, strategies of retaining midwives must be put in place by the Department of Health. Midwives must be relieved in all non-nursing- related matters to allow them to focus on the pregnant women.

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