Indigenous practices regarding postnatal care at Sikhunyani Village in the Limpopo Province of South Africa

24 Jun 2009

In South Africa women are discharged from maternity wards 24 hours after normal deliveries. The result is that postnatal care is provided by family members and grandmothers who are often assisted by traditional birth attendants and traditional healers. The purpose of this study was to explore, describe and document the indigenous practices regarding postnatal care. A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual research approach was used. Study results revealed that traditional birth attendants were concerned about the wellbeing of postnatal women, prevention of complications, maintenance of good nutrition, enhanced wellbeing, exclusion of evil spirits and the resumption of sexual relations. It is recommended that there should be enhanced collaboration between traditional birth attendants and midwives.