Social norms as possible causes of stillbirths.


OBJECTIVE:High stillborn rates are a concern in developing countries. Hence, this article aims to describe the sociocultural norms contributing to the high number of stillbirths as perceived by mothers, significant others, midwives and records of the Pregnancy Problem Identification Programme (PPIP). DESIGN & SETTING:A multimethod qualitative descriptive study was conducted in a district in the Free State, South Africa. Each of the five sub-districts has a district hospital where most pregnant women give birth. Eighty per cent of the community is black of which about a quarter live in poor conditions below the poverty line. PARTICIPANTS:The first author conducted unstructured in-depth interviews with 36 mothers and their significant other who gave birth to a stillborn. She also extracted relevant data from the PPIP record of each mother. A skilled moderator conducted three focus group interviews with a convenience sample of midwives. The data were inductively analysed to identify subthemes under the central theme of social norms. KEY CONCLUSIONS:The authors concluded that traditional practices, traditional role players (traditional healer, mother-in-law, partner), abuse, and prescriptive social norms might contribute to stillbirths. Pregnant women are oppressed as they adhere to traditional social norms and are unable to make independent, informed healthcare decisions. The midwives, who are mostly female, may find it difficult to empower pregnant women because they are under the same social oppression as their clients. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:It is imperative that healthcare providers consider social determinants of health, including social norms, when providing healthcare, especially to pregnant women as some social practices may have detrimental outcomes for the mother and/or baby.






Noge S,Botma Y,Steinberg H




Has Abstract


2020-11-01 00:00:00












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