Models of postnatal care for low-income countries: A review of the literature

Springer Publishing Company
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Childbirth, 2016, 6 (2), pp. 104 - 132
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PURPOSE: This review aims to identify the key features of effective models of postnatal care involving midwifery personnel and to determine which models may be appropriate for implementation in lowincome countries. STUDY DESIGN: A narrative synthesis of English language, peer-reviewed articles from 2004 to 2014 was undertaken. Four online library databases were searched. Inclusion/exclusion criterion and a quality appraisal were applied. MAJOR FINDINGS: Twenty-two studies were included in the review, but only 4 were from lowincome countries. Midwifery-led models of postnatal care are cost-effective to provide high-quality care in every settings for every women in respect of 2 core components of quality care that are woman-centered care and continuity of care. Midwifery postnatal care is provided at hospital, in community settings, and at home, all presenting different strengths and weaknesses. Combinations of models of midwifery postnatal care and collaboration between stakeholders have had positive impacts on the quality of postnatal care. To be completely effective, this requires a better management and support of midwifery personnel though. Women and midwifery personnel's satisfaction needs to be considered to identify the local means and needs and to plan a suitable model of midwifery postnatal care at each location. MAIN CONCLUSION: Low-income countries could develop a midwifery-led model of postnatal care. This will require identifying women and midwifery personnel's needs and the available resources and involving the stakeholders collaboratively to provide a suitable model of midwifery postnatal care. Education and practice will need to be addressed as well as promotion to the population. There is a need to conduct more research on midwifery postnatal care in low-income countries to evaluate how to best use them and what aspect of the midwifery postnatal care can be strengthened.
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