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01.12.2014 | Ausgabe 10/2014

Maternal and Child Health Journal 10/2014

Mode of Childbirth in Low-Risk Pregnancies: Nicaraguan Physicians’ Viewpoints

Zeitschrift:
Maternal and Child Health Journal > Ausgabe 10/2014
Autoren:
Mercedes Colomar, Maria Luisa Cafferata, Alicia Aleman, Graciela Castellano, Ezequiel Garcia Elorrio, Fernando Althabe, Susheela Engelbrecht

Abstract

To explore attitudes of physicians attending births in the public and private sectors and at the managerial level toward cesarean birth in Nicaragua. A qualitative study was conducted consisting of four focus groups with 17 physicians and nine in-depth interviews with decision-makers. Although study participants listed many advantages of vaginal birth and disadvantages of cesarean birth, they perceived that the increase in the cesarean birth rate in Nicaragua has resulted in a reduction in perinatal morbidity and mortality. They ascribed high cesarean birth rates to a web of interrelated provider, patient, and health system factors. They identified five actions that would facilitate a reduction in the number of unnecessary cesarean operations: establishing standards and protocols; preparing women and their families for labor and childbirth; incorporating cesarean birth rate monitoring and audit systems into quality assurance activities at the facility level; strengthening the movement to humanize birth; and promoting community-based interventions to educate women and families about the benefits of vaginal birth. Study participants believe that by performing cesarean operations they are providing the best quality of care feasible within their context. They do not perceive problems with their current practice. The identified causes of unnecessary cesarean operations in Nicaragua are multifactorial, so it appears that a multi-layered strategy is needed to safely reduce cesarean birth rates. The recent Nicaraguan Ministry of Health guidance to promote parto humanizado (“humanization of childbirth”) could serve as the basis for a collaborative effort among health care professionals, government, and consumer advocates to reduce the number of unnecessary cesarean births in Nicaragua.

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