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Respectful Maternity Care: The Other “R” Word in Maternity Service

Respectful Maternity Care: The Other “R” Word in Maternity Service

Pitter, C.,Rae, T., Lattibeaudiere, S.,Stevens, R.,Rhoden-Salmon, D., Agu, C., Edwards-Henry, P., Parry-Smith, M., Raqibat, I. & Mullings, J.
Faculty of Medical Sciences
School of Nursing
Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, Health and Well-Being


Human rights violation such as poor treatment of pregnant women is increasingly seen as a threat to the 2030 maternal health and gender goals for low and middle-income countries. Disrespect and abuse (D&A) is a component of poor treatment meted out to women during childbirth. The study has identified the prevalence of D&A during childbirth; examined the mothers’ perception of their care during childbirth. The project was funded by the UWI Principal’s New Initiative Fund.


A descriptive cross-sectional study was done in 2017. Some 197 randomly selected postnatal women who had given birth at two maternity hospitals participated in the telephone survey. The data were analysed using SPSS. All ethical considerations were adhered to.


The study identified a prevalence rate of D&A at 17% (n= 33/197). Those at risk were first time mothers between 18-25 years old and unemployed. Mothers across hospitals have a positive view 87% ofthecare received. Some 50% of themfelt midwives in general are uncaring and indifferent in attending to births.


This pioneer studyadds to the body of knowledge on the prevalence of D&A during childbirth and notes that some Jamaican mothers are at risk. An analysis of the full study involving the midwives’ perception of the care they give will provide a comprehensive perspective on this issue in Jamaica. The findings could place midwives at the centre for leading the charge for better quality and equity care; educate mothers of their rights to respectful care; support the national strategy on compassionate care.

Keywords: Disrespectful and abusive care, Midwives, Respectful Maternity Care

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