Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among midwives after exposure to maternal death and stillbirth in Khomas Region of Namibia

Tuwilika Endjala, Hans Justus Amukugo, Emma Maano Ngitanwa


Objective: Despite global efforts to decrease maternal death and stillbirths worldwide, maternal mortality rate and stillbirth remain high in the global south countries. These deaths often have immediate and long-lasting effects on midwives who care for these women.

Methods: This paper explores the effects of maternal death and stillbirth on midwives in Namibia. A qualitative approach was adopted using a descriptive, exploratory and contextual design. The objective of this study was to explore the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related feelings among midwives after exposure to maternal death and stillbirth. Data was collected using Focus Group Discussions (FGD) and individual interviews. Four FGDs and four individual interviews were conducted with midwives from two state hospitals in Windhoek. Midwives were purposively selected, and a total of 29 midwives participated in the study. Individual interviews and FGDs were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed using content analysis and coded using Tech’s steps of open-coding.

Results: The researcher identified one central theme with six sub-themes. The study showed that the midwives experienced PTSD related feelings such as insomnia and nightmares, recollection of the event (flashbacks), sense of self-blame, guilt, anger, shame, and being haunted/tormented.

Conclusions: It is concluded that maternal death and fresh stillbirth can lead to PTSD effects on midwives, hence addressing these challenges. Therefore, the researchers recommend that hospitals in the Khomas Region develop and implement the wellness programmes in the workplace, such as the Employee Assistance Programme, to support midwives who experienced these traumatic events to prevent and manage these effects in the future. Equally, further research is needed to evaluate the impact of the wellness programme on midwives who experienced MDs and FSBs in Namibia.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' and ‘’ domains to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', please check your 'spam' or 'junk' folder.