Skip to main content

Table 2 Types of harsh or abusive behavior preceding, during or after childbirth as defined by mothers, fathers, CHWs and leaders

From: Experiences of and responses to disrespectful maternity care and abuse during childbirth; a qualitative study with women and men in Morogoro Region, Tanzania

Feeling Ignored, Neglected or Mistreated Mother Father CHW Leader
Family feared delivering alone X X X  
Delivery began or completed in absence of any provider or helper X X X X
Women felt ignored post delivery (no counseling, no help bathing, walking, removing soiled clothes) X    
Provider turned family away; told to find a local TBA   X   
Provider routinely absent X    
Provider routinely ignores women (“they told me I should not interrupt their lunch”) X X X X
Provider refused to wake for a night delivery X X X X
Provider had no time to explain a concern X X   X
Provider told woman to clean delivery room, mattress and/or table on which a woman delivered X    
Provider delayed referral until it becomes dangerous for mother or difficult for a family to travel   X   
Provider demonstrated favoritism (toward those who are “connected”) X X   X
Provider said “there’s nothing to do” during a complicated delivery (belated referral for c-section) X    
Unpredictable Financial Demands/Concerns About Money Mother Father CHW Leader
Feeling overcharged (see others pay less or paid less previously); bothered by inconsistent pricing X X X  
Being charged a fine for delivering at home X    
Being forced to wait longer while those with more money are seen first X X   
Being charged for a child’s clinic card X X   
Feeling pressured or coerced to pay a bribe (“facility entrance fee” “bed charge” “recognition fee”)   X   X
Being required to pay for medicines bought from a nearby pharmacy or from a nurse (referred to as “going the illegal way” ukaenda ukapita njia or “doing business” kufanya kama biashara) X X X X
Verbal Abuse Mother Father CHW Leader
Reports of “being shouted at” or “scolded” for: X X X X
Being too tired; “not pushing hard enough” Having a TBA as an escort to a facility     
Having too many children; “ruining” one’s body Making a special case of oneself or “requesting too much attention”
Arriving too early or too late during labor
Taking traditional herbs Delivering at home in the past
Seeking or heeding advice from a TBA Delivering at home and then bringing baby to be registered
Wearing old or dirty clothes
Physical Abuse Mother Father CHW Leader
A nurse refuses to remove a drip because a woman is complaining too much X    
A nurse slaps a delivering woman X    
A nurse forces a woman to deliver in a “bad” position (“like kneeling with my head down”) X