Exploring midwives’ perceptions of respectful maternity care during childbirth in Lagos State, Nigeria: A qualitative inquiry

Waleola B. Ige, Winnie B. Ngcobo


In recent years, Disrespectful Maternity Care of women seeking maternity services in the health facilities continues to gain recognition globally, given that it is a violation of women’s right.  Growing evidence from both low- and high-income countries indicate that many women are discouraged from accessing health facilities due to substandard maternity services and the likelihood of disrespectful and abusive care from midwives and other health providers. This study’s aim was to explore midwives’ perception of respectful maternity care during childbirth in selected health facilities in Lagos state, Nigeria. The research study employed exploratory descriptive research design. Data generation was through semi structured individual interviews. The data underwent manual coding and thematic analysis. The findings revealed that participating midwives were newly acquainted with the term Respectful Maternity Care (RMC), but they had positive perception of RMC. Midwives perceived RMC as treating patients with dignity and respect, respect of patients’ culture, beliefs and values, maintain privacy and confidentiality, respect patients’ opinions, and non-abusive care. They also viewed RMC as explaining procedure to obtain consent, holistic and individualised care, client/relations involvement in care, empathic care, non-abandonment and non-discriminatory care. Findings further revealed that perceptions do not fully translate into practice. (Afr J Reprod Health 2022; 26 [10]: 21-30)

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