Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 3, P240-250, May 2020

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Is it possible to incorporate evidence-based professional midwifery practices into public health services in Mexico?


      Problem and background

      During the past two decades, Mexico has launched innovative maternal health initiatives to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes, placing emphasis on the incorporation of professional midwifery practices into the healthcare system. This study explored the perceptions of healthcare providers and women using public birth care services regarding professional midwifery practices and how can the inclusion of evidence-based midwifery techniques improve the quality of service.


      We conducted a qualitative, cross-sectional study of three healthcare networks in Mexico. A content analysis was performed of data collected through 109 semi-structured interviews: 72 with healthcare providers and 37 with women.


      Healthcare providers and women had minimal knowledge of the competencies and skills of professional midwives. Medical personnel accepted the incorporation of some evidence-based midwifery practices. Women had experienced fear and anguish during childbirth so they considered that incorporating professional midwifery practices into maternal health services would be favourable in that it would render birth care more respectful.

      Discussion and conclusions

      Healthcare providers are willing to consider the inclusion of some evidence-based midwifery practices in health services and regard assistance from professional midwives. They believe that structural conditions will complicate their incorporation. Although the women interviewed had experienced fear, anxiety and loneliness during childbirth, most of them admitted to feeling “safer” in a hospital (secondary-care health centre) setting where possible complications could be resolved. This perception of safety served to justify the delivery of healthcare in a manner that is inattentive to women’s needs, which go beyond biomedical issues and include emotions and the positive experience of childbirth.


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