Main Article Content
Background: Placental rituals refer to culturally set boundaries of observable series of actions that serve as solicitude-relieving process, which provides over the future health, a spiritual means of control.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the perceptions of midwives and mothers on postpartum placenta rituals at selected health centers in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
Method: A qualitative approach using an exploratory research design was used. The study was based on Madeleine Leininger Transcultural nursing theory of cultural care diversity and universality. Purposive sampling technique was employed in the recruitment of 25 participants (22 postpartum mothers and 3 midwives) and the sample size was determined by data saturation. Data collection was by means of audio-taped semi structured interview and Tesch’s content analysis style was utilized for data analysis while the quantitative data was analyzed using the descriptive statistics.
Results: Findings from this study revealed that most of the participants were Yoruba women and were between the ages of 20-29 years. Findings showed that perceived postpartum ritual is generally viewed by midwives as humors and practices that should be respected. More than half of the mothers perceived placenta to be a thing of great value to the child and to his or her future. Majority of the mothers stated that the cultural significance of the disposal method they practice ensures the safety of the child’s future. Most participant also indicated the used of polyethene bag for the collection of placentas and the common practice of its disposal was by burying which is normally performed by their husbands. This brings attention to the need for improvements in the standard placenta handling procedure in order to prevent the incidence of cross-infection. Provision of appropriate health education on placental disposal and other health practices is vital.
Conclusion: Nurses/midwives and other health care providers should ensure the design of interventions which are suitable to the various way of life of the people and also efficient in the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality, health promotion of mother and child and improving public health through health education.