BACKGROUND: South African maternity care guidelines stipulate that post-natal patients can be
discharged within 6 h after delivery, provided that the condition of mothers and neonates do
not require medical, surgical or obstetric attention. Hence in many instances post-natal care is
rendered at home by traditional birth attendants (TBAs). Traditional birth attendants play a
crucial role in the care of women during pregnancy, birth and puerperium within communities.
AIM: To explore and describe the experiences of TBAs during the provision of post-natal care
to mothers and their neonates in order to make recommendations to improve the quality of
post-natal care delivered at home.
SETTING: The community hall of a selected rural traditional community was used as a setting
for data collection.
METHODS: A qualitative, exploratory and descriptive design was used. Three focus groups
were held with 26 TBAs whom were purposively selected. Data were analysed using qualitative
RESULTS: The study confirmed two categories that included: lack of supportive working
relationships between TBAs and midwives and lack of respect of TBAs, by post-natal women.
CONCLUSION: It is evident that the TBAs experienced negative experiences. Therefore, initiation
of teamwork, empowerment and confidence development are crucial to improve the working
experiences of TBAs during the provision of post-natal care. Quality post-natal care might
reduce maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality rates. Teamwork between TBAs and
midwives might be initiated. Continuity of care for post-natal women might be improved.