n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Challenges experienced by midwifery practitioners in the midwifery practice environment of Limpopo Province, South Africa : maternal and child care

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


This study explored the challenges experienced by midwifery practitioners in the midwifery practice environment of Limpopo Province using a qualitative, phenomenological and descriptive design. Non-probability purposive sampling was employed to select and gather data from twenty (20) midwifery practitioners. Semi-structured individual interviews with a guide, tape recorder and field notes were utilized to obtain narratives from participants until data saturation was reached. The data were analysed qualitatively using Tesch's open coding method. During data analysis, four themes and twelve sub-themes emerged namely, shortage of midwifery practitioners, insufficient material resources, scarcity of essential equipment and sub-optimal midwifery interventions. The findings revealed inadequate number of midwifery practitioners versus the increased number of pregnant women expected to be monitored. Thus midwifery practitioners became exhausted due to increased workloads. Insufficient material resources and limited equipment compounded the challenges that midwifery practitioner encountered. These challenges impeded the use of adequate human and material resources and equipment which were beyond the individual midwifery practitioner and individual learner midwife's control. The hospital managers should address the challenges faced by midwifery practitioners which include shortage of staff, overload of work and shortage of material resources such as equipment as well as suboptimal midwifery care to pregnant women.

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