Although childbirth is considered to be a normal physiological process, complications leading to postpartum maternal mortality and morbidity may arise in 20% of the cases; it can affect the mother, foetus or both and may be long or short term. The aim of the study was to assess practices of midwives on the care of postpartum women who experienced complicated labour and delivery from time of admission to the postnatal wards until their discharge. A descriptive cross sectional survey was conducted at the University Teaching Hospital – Women and Newborn in Lusaka. 51 midwives working in postnatal wards participated in the study. Data were collected using a self administered questionnaire with a 4 point likert scale and some closed and open ended questionnaires. SPSS version 20 statistical package was used to analyze data, expressed as descriptive summary measures. Majority of the midwives (78.9%) reported that the care they provided to postpartum women who had complicated labour and delivery was not comprehensive and satisfactory due to shortage of staff and high workload, inadequate materials and equipment to use and midwives’ lack of motivation and bad attitude. Midwives scored themselves high in observing and assessing the postpartum women while they rated themselves low in performing for the women self-care activities. There is need to improve the care rendered to the postpartum women with complicated labour and delivery in order to promote good health and to prevent postpartum complications.
Key words: Postpartum mothers/women, postnatal care, complicated labour and delivery, self- reported practices, midwives, hospital care.
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