Coping with Maternal Deaths The Experiences of Midwives

Main Article Content

Dartey Anita Fafa
Phetlhu Deliwe Rene
Phuma-Ngaiyaye Ellemes


BACKGROUND: Life is said to be meaningful only when the individual is able to cope with challenges associated with it. Challenges at the workplace, whether physical, psychological or social, all contribute to occupational trauma. Coping with the challenges of work is an important part of achieving occupational wellbeing, irrespective of how difficult the job may be. Midwives are trained to be responsible for safe motherhood. However, when faced with maternal deaths, work becomes difficult as they have to cope with trauma resulting from their encounters with these deaths. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore and describe the coping challenges of maternal deaths among midwives in the Ashanti Region of Ghana.
METHOD: An exploratory descriptive qualitative design was used in the study. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews (18) and focus group discussions (8) with inclusion criteria of being a midwife with at least one year working experience and having witnessed maternal death while on duty. Data were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed using thematic content analysis.

RESULTS: Four themes emerged from the study: difficulty accepting maternal death, exhibition of grief reactions, difficulty forgetting the deceased and lack of concentration.
CONCLUSION: The study concluded that since the midwife’s ability to cope with maternal deaths is challenged, occupational workplace programmes, for example, Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) should be employed in Ghanaian hospitals to help midwives get debrief after maternal death occurs.

Article Details

Original Article
Author Biographies

Dartey Anita Fafa, University of Health and Allied Sciences- Nursin

University of Health and Allied Sciences- Nursing, Ghana


Phetlhu Deliwe Rene, University of the Western Cape

University of the Western Cape, South
Africa –Nursing, Cape Town, Western
Cape, South Africa

Phuma-Ngaiyaye Ellemes, Mzuzu University-Nursing and Midwifery

Mzuzu University-Nursing and Midwifery, Luwinga, Mzuzu, Malawi