Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Davina Poroch

Second Advisor

Yvonne Hauck


Giving labour and birth information to first time mothers is one of the challenges facing the midwives in Malawi. There are many underlying health and soeioeconomic problems facing the people of Malawi particularly mothers in the child bearing age because of inadequate human and material resources in the health sector. This thesis presents findings of a study carried out in Malawi to explore labour and birth information given to first time mothers at hospitals and in the communities. Maternal satisfaction with the information received was determined. In addition labour and birth information needs of first time mothers in Malawi were determined from the mother's perspective. A descriptive-correctional design was used in this study. One hundred and fifty first time mothers who had given birth to a live full term infant within 8 weeks of the postpartum period participated in the study. The findings of the quantitative results were analysed using SPSS for Windows. Responses to open ended questions were analysed using content analysis. The findings indicated that first time mothers believe that they are not given adequate labour and birth information in the hospital settings. The findings also indicated that labour and birth information given in the community is culturally based and mainly comprises cultural beliefs and taboos of childbirth. First time mothers in Malawi also expressed satisfaction with some of the information given during pregnancy, labour and birth but were not satisfied overall with the amount of information they received in preparing them for childbirth. The findings of the study have implications for improving how and what labour and birth information is given to first time mothers in Malawi. Recommendations are presented for nurse/midwifery practice, education, management and research.