Midwives’ Perspectives regarding Involvement of Male Partners during Pregnancy at a Maternal Health Facility in Eswatini

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Globally, maternal and child health services have made efforts to involve men for several decades. There has been noted progress among some European countries, which is contrary to some observations among African states. Midwives’ attitudes have an impact on men accompanying pregnant women for antenatal care services. This study aimed to investigate midwives’ perspectives regarding male partners’ involvement during pregnancy at a maternal health facility in Eswatini (previously Swaziland). A qualitative, explorative, descriptive design was used to achieve the study objectives. Eight midwives were purposively sampled to conduct face-to-face in-depth interviews using an interview guide. Research instruments such as a semi-structured interview guide and audiotapes were used to maintain consistency and minimise memory bias. Data were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. Findings include midwives’ feelings; health system challenges such as a shortage of staff and space and a lack of guiding policies; male partner-related challenges such as time constraints and competing responsibilities, social stigma and cultural taboo from communities, and co-habiting behaviour. Benefits for men accompanying their pregnant women included instant informed consent and initiation of medications, health education opportunities, partner involvement in breastfeeding techniques and family planning, and building a positive family relationship. Conclusions are that, despite the interest among males to be available to provide support for women in the process of pregnancy, midwives are not yet ready. It is, therefore, recommended that midwives’ education and policy development be considered for positive male involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12096
JournalAfrica Journal of Nursing and Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Eswatini
  • culture
  • health policy
  • male involvement
  • maternal care
  • waiting time


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