Post partum beliefs and practices among rural women in zambia

Catherine Mubita Ngoma

This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in Nangoma, Mumbwa district located in Central Province of Zambia. The purpose of the study was to explore post partum traditional beliefs and practices among rural women and examine the relationship of these to the use of postnatal care. A total of 120 postpartum women who attended health care facilities were interviewed. Data was obtained using a semi structured interviews. Data analysis methods included use of both descriptive and inferential statistics. The results showed that 52% of the respondents were within the age group 15 -25 years and were married (90%). Fifty – eight percent (58%) had primary school education and had 1- 3 children. Most (80%) of them were housewives who lived more than 12 kilometers away from the health facility.

The results revealed some postpartum beliefs and practices among the postpartum women. However, some of the beliefs are not harmful and vise versa. Therefore, there is need for Midwives and other health care providers to learn traditional beliefs and practices existing in the communities they serve and to discourage those that are detrimental to the health of the mother and her baby.

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