Traditional Beliefs, Practices and Maternal Health in The Sekyere South District of Ghana

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ABSTRACT

The research studies the traditional beliefs and practices about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods in the Sekyere South District of Ashanti Region. Its objectives are to document the social meanings attached to pregnancy and childbirth, to examine the beliefs and practices about pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods and to interrogate the practices that promote maternal health in the community. Applying principally a qualitative approach, a total of thirty five respondents, guided by saturation theory, were interviewed. A multistage sampling was used in sampling twenty-seven members of the community which comprised people who have ever been parents, pregnant women and elderly people. In addition, eight key informants - medical doctors, midwives and traditional birth attendants were sampled through purposive sampling and snowball sampling. The study reveals that preference for female child was emphasised among the indigenes because the female child will procreate and perpetuate the matrilineage. Also, persistent spiritual, behavioural and dietary practices were held by the indigenes during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods. Prominent among the traditional practices was the patronage of the services of traditional birth attendants by women seeking to conceive and pregnant women. In addition, foods such as ripe plantain, roasted plantain, snails, okra, etc. were tabooed. However, these traditional beliefs and practices are janus-faced in that though some were considered deleterious to the health of the women and foetuses by health workers, the indigenes considered other practices as helpful in averting and reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity or death. For instance, as a behavioural restriction, pregnant women were cautioned not to fight or eat in public to avoid the evil eyes of spirits and people who seek to harm their babies. Moreover, families played great role in taking care of the mothers and babies which constituted a form of social capital, v ensuring the safety of the mothers and babies and preventing postnatal depression during the postpartum periods. The study recommended among others a healthy reconciliation of both the biomedical model of health care and the traditional system of health care. Also, the need to strengthen the health insurance policy of the country to prevent women who seek the help of untrained traditional birth attendants and herbalist was noted.

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APA

OPPONG, J (2022). Traditional Beliefs, Practices and Maternal Health in The Sekyere South District of Ghana. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/traditional-beliefs-practices-and-maternal-health-in-the-sekyere-south-district-of-ghana

MLA 8th

OPPONG, JOYCE "Traditional Beliefs, Practices and Maternal Health in The Sekyere South District of Ghana" Afribary. Afribary, 16 Jun. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/traditional-beliefs-practices-and-maternal-health-in-the-sekyere-south-district-of-ghana. Accessed 08 Aug. 2022.

MLA7

OPPONG, JOYCE . "Traditional Beliefs, Practices and Maternal Health in The Sekyere South District of Ghana". Afribary, Afribary, 16 Jun. 2022. Web. 08 Aug. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/traditional-beliefs-practices-and-maternal-health-in-the-sekyere-south-district-of-ghana >.

Chicago

OPPONG, JOYCE . "Traditional Beliefs, Practices and Maternal Health in The Sekyere South District of Ghana" Afribary (2022). Accessed August 08, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/traditional-beliefs-practices-and-maternal-health-in-the-sekyere-south-district-of-ghana