Women’s and health providers’ perceptions of companionship during labor and childbirth: a formative study for the implementation of WHO companionship model in Burkina Faso - IRD - Institut de recherche pour le développement Access content directly
Journal Articles Reproductive Health Year : 2023

Women’s and health providers’ perceptions of companionship during labor and childbirth: a formative study for the implementation of WHO companionship model in Burkina Faso

Abstract

Abstract Introduction A key component of achieving respectful maternal and newborn care is labor companionship. Despite important health benefits for the woman and baby, there are critical gaps in implementing labor companionship for all women globally. The paper aims to present the perceptions and experiences of pregnant women, postpartum women, and health care providers regarding companionship during labor and childbirth, and to identify barriers and facilitating factors to the implementation of labor companionship in Burkina Faso. Methods This is a formative study to inform the “Appropriate use of cesarean section through QUALIty DECision-making by women and providers” (QUALI-DEC) study, to design, adapt and implement a strategy to optimize the use of the cesarean section, including labor companionship. We use in-depth interviews (women, potential companions, and health workers) and health facility readiness assessments in eight hospitals across Burkina Faso. We use a thematic analysis approach for interviews, and narrative summaries to describe facility readiness assessment. Results In all, 77 qualitative interviews and eight readiness assessments are included in this analysis. The findings showed that all participants acknowledged an existing traditional companionship model, which allowed companions to support women only in the hospital waiting room and post-natal room. Despite recognizing clear benefits, participants were not familiar with companionship during labor and childbirth in the hospital as recommended by WHO. Key barriers to implementing companionship throughout labor and birth include limited space in labor and delivery wards, no private rooms for women, hospital rules preventing companionship, and social norms preventing the choice of a companion by the woman. Conclusion Labor companionship was considered highly acceptable in Burkina Faso, but more work is needed to adapt to the hospital environment. Revisions to hospital policies to allow companions during labor and childbirth are needed as well as changes to provide private space for women. Training potential companions about their roles and encouraging women’s rights to choose their companions may help to facilitate effective implementation.

Dates and versions

ird-04196679 , version 1 (05-09-2023)

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Fadima Yaya Bocoum, Charles Paulin Kabore, Saran Barro, Roger Zerbo, Simon Tiendrebeogo, et al.. Women’s and health providers’ perceptions of companionship during labor and childbirth: a formative study for the implementation of WHO companionship model in Burkina Faso. Reproductive Health, 2023, 20 (1), pp.46. ⟨10.1186/s12978-023-01597-w⟩. ⟨ird-04196679⟩

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