Original Research

Management of the third stage of labour by Basotho traditional birth attendants

Keneuoe N. Fobo, Gaotswake P. Kovane, Catharina S. Minnie
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 29 | a2372 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v29i0.2372 | © 2024 Keneuoe N. Fobo, Gaotswake P. Kovane, Catharina S. Minnie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 February 2023 | Published: 20 March 2024

About the author(s)

Keneuoe N. Fobo, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Gaotswake P. Kovane, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa
Catharina S. Minnie, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Historically and to date, women still give birth at home with the support of elderly, experienced women who live within their communities. In Lesotho, traditional birth attendants (TBAs) are sometimes the only option for pregnant women living far from facilities. Women are vulnerable during the third stage of labour; therefore, correct management is crucial to limit undesirable outcomes. Postpartum haemorrhage and postpartum sepsis remain the leading direct causes of maternal mortality.

Aim: This study aimed to explore and describe how Basotho TBAs manage the third stage of labour.

Setting: The study was conducted in Lesotho, at Bolahla and Sejakhosi. These villages have the highest number of women giving birth at home.

Methods: An explorative and descriptive design with a qualitative approach was used. Semistructured interview guide was utilised to conduct individual in-depth interviews about how the TBAs manage the third stage of labour and their support needs concerning this phase. The TBAs were purposively sampled. The data were analysed thematically.

Results: Four themes emerged: challenges TBA experience in the management of the third stage of labour, management of the placenta by Basotho traditional birth attendants, support during the management of the placenta by Basotho traditional birth attendants, and management during emergencies.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that if TBAs are supported, they can contribute to the health of the mother and baby.

Contribution: This study’s findings can be valuable to healthcare professionals to understand better how TBAs in Lesotho manage the third stage of labour and the support they need.


Keywords

placenta; home delivery; traditional birth attendant; third stage of labour; postpartum haemorrhage.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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