Psychological experiences of pregnant students at the University of Venda, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Lindokuhle R Thabethe, Seani A Mulondo, Augustine K Tugli

Abstract

There is an increase in pregnancy rates among university students, world-wide. Unplanned pregnancy is a threat to the psychological well-being of students, as it could lead to mental health problems. The purpose of the study was to explore the psychological experiences of pregnant students at the University of Venda, in Limpopo Province, South Africa. A qualitative approach, using a phenomenological design, was used for this study and convenience sampling was used to select 12 pregnant students from the target population. Data were collected through a semi-structured interview and an interpretative phenomenological approach was used to analyse the data. The study findings showed that pregnant students encountered various negative experiences, such as maternal stress, inability to cope, poor concentration and anxiety. From the study, it is recommended that the institution should offer adequate services to pregnant students, such as providing antenatal care services at the university clinic to alleviate stress, anxiety and the dropout rate among pregnant students. (Afr J Reprod Health 2020; 24[3]: 18-23).

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