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Women’s Perceptions of Hospital-based Postnatal Care Following a Normal Vaginal Delivery in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Charlene Suzanne Margaret Williams, Petra Brysiewicz


It is common practice globally for women to be discharged from a health facility within twenty-four to forty-eight hours after a normal vaginal delivery. The purpose of this article is to explore postnatal women’s perceptions of hospital-based postnatal care following a normal vaginal delivery. This qualitative study used content analysis and was carried out in the postnatal wards of two hospitals in the eThekwini District of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The researcher conducted individual semi-structured interviews with 20 women. The categories that emerged from the data collected were: questioning my ability, fending for oneself, insufficient information, and unacceptable staff behaviour. From the data collected, it is suggested that further studies be done to ensure the opportunity for women to receive optimal and comprehensive midwifery care during the postnatal period in the ward, as well as for the continuity of care post-discharge.


postnatal care; normal vaginal delivery; perceptions; content analysis

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