Women’s Experience of Facility-Based Childbirth Care and Receipt of an Early Postnatal Check for Herself and Her Newborn in Northwestern Tanzania

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Negative experiences of care may act as a deterrent to current and/or future utilization of facility-based health services. To examine the situation in Tanzania, we conducted a sub-analysis of a cross-sectional household survey conducted in April 2016 in the Mara and Kagera regions of Tanzania. The sample included 732 women aged 15–49 years who had given birth in a health facility during the previous two years. Log binomial regression models were used to investigate the association between women’s experiences of care during childbirth and the receipt of early postnatal checks before discharge. Overall, 73.1% of women reported disrespect and abuse, 60.1% were offered a birth companion, 29.1% had a choice of birth position, and 85.5% rated facility cleanliness as good. About half of mothers (46.3%) and newborns (51.4%) received early postnatal checks before discharge. Early postnatal checks for both mothers and newborns were associated with no disrespect and abuse (RR: 1.23 and 1.14, respectively) and facility cleanliness (RR: 1.29 and 1.54, respectively). Early postnatal checks for mothers were also associated with choice of birth position (RR: 1.18). The results suggest that a missed opportunity in providing an early postnatal check is an indication of poor quality of the continuum of care for mothers and newborns. Improved quality of care at one stage can predict better care in subsequent stages.

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