Health literacy of mothers on factors associated to pre-rupture of membranes on perinatal outcomes in Vhembe district, South Africa

Mashudu V. Balibali, Thivhulawi Malwela, Maria S Maputle


Pre-rupture of membranes prior labour initiation could complicate approximately 5% of pregnancies and could be associated with a high incidence of perinatal morbidity and mortality complications. The major complications could be chorioamnionitis and cord compression resulting in hypoxia. This study aimed to assess the health literacy of mothers on perinatal outcomes following prerupture of membranes at Thulamela B clinics of Vhembe district. A quantitative research approach with a cross-sectional descriptive design was used. The study population comprised a total of 210 lactating mothers within 6 weeks following delivery, irrespective of the mode of delivery were purposively selected. Data were collected by the researchers through self-administered questionnaires. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 25 was used for data analysis. The results are presented in the form of tables and graphs based on probability allowing judgment to be made on variables. Validity and reliability were ensured. Ethical clearance was obtained from the University of Venda Research Ethics Committee and permission to access health facilities from the Limpopo Province Department of Health. Findings revealed that limited and inadequate health literacy towards pre-rupture of membranes contributes to perinatal morbidity and mortality, with associated factors like poor antenatal care attendance, delayed health seeking, defaulting, and loss of follow-up. Recommendations to emphasise the provision of preconception and antenatal care where health information on risks and danger signs of PROM to perinatal outcomes are given were made. (Afr J Reprod Health 2022; 26[7]: 90-101).

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