The Impact of Loss in Childbearing on Women in Southern Malawi
Mballah, M. (2015) The Impact of Loss in Childbearing on Women in Southern Malawi, no. 65.
This was a secondary research, the original study being conducted in southern part of Malawi and included 23 women of childbearing age who experienced loss. The women were interviewed about their interpretation of loss with a focus on accountability and blame. The study discussed here involves secondary data analysis of the interviews with women who had experienced loss and community focus group discussions with a focus on the psycho-social consequences Objective The objective of this research was to examine the psychosocial consequences which are faced by women who experience loss in childbearing. Methods For the original study; semi-structure and FGDs were used for data collection. Snowballing procedure was adopted to select respondents. Interviews were conducted in both English and Chichewa with 23 women who experienced loss in the last 2 to 5 years. For second research; the transcript were manually analyzed by using thematic analysis to identify themes. Findings The study found that there was a pressing need for support services targeting women who have experiences loss in form of counselling to deal with the psychosocial emotions. Out of 23 women who experience loss only 1 received counselling. The findings revealed that there were psychosocial consequences which included pain, hurt, guilt, blame and detachment. Also the women expressed anxiety for subsequent pregnancy and most women referred to dead babies as "chithuchi" meaning "the thing". Gender and Family dynamics revealed that women were supported by their spouses, family members and friends. The role of care was inadequate and support for women was not provided. Conclusion: In order for women to receive care for psychosocial support there need to be a change in attitude of people in society like Malawi regarding childbearing loss. More research in this field is desirable to increase the knowledge and also to guide formulation of future policies for the government. The Key Words: Pregnancy; Childbearing loss; Gender; Psychosocial Consequences; Family; Dynamics; Malawi; Medical Staff, sub Saharan Africa