Influence of Cultural and Religious Practices on the Management of Pregnancy at Mbombela Municipality, South Africa: An Explorative Study

The Open Nursing Journal 06 Sept 2021 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874434602115010130



Cultural norms bring substantial weight in women’s decision-making, especially concerning the choice of the birth location. Cultural and religious practices may influence how pregnant women respond to Antenatal Care (ANC) services, feel confident about which questions to ask, or participate in the discussions about their care plan or birth options.


The study aimed to explore and describe the influence of cultural practices on the management of pregnancy in the Mbombela Municipality of Mpumalanga Province.


Using a qualitative approach, pregnant women who failed to completely attend ANC services were purposively sampled, and individual unstructured in-depth interviews were employed to collect data. The study consisted of a sample size of 18 pregnant women, and data saturation was reached. Tech’s method of analysis was followed for data analysis.


Study findings revealed a significant theme: cultural practices and pregnancy management, encompassing three sub-themes: cultural practices in pregnancy, cultural medication taken by pregnant women, and the effects of cultural practices on pregnancy management.


It is recommended that women should be given health education concerning ANC services every day while they wait in primary health care clinics. Accordingly, the healthcare professionals should encourage the active involvement of all pregnant women in health promotion gatherings and offer chances for clarity seeking. Despite the availability of free maternal healthcare services in primary healthcare clinics, women still consult traditional healers during pregnancy and believe in cultural practices. It is therefore important that programs developed for maternal services be congruent to the cultural practices of women to be serviced.

Keywords: Influence, Cultural practices, Management, Pregnancy, Primary health care, Antenatal natal care.
Fulltext HTML PDF ePub