Breastfeeding ans sexuality after childbirth in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap


Background: Kubemenda is a word in Kiswahili and a conception that the infants‟ health will be negatively affected if the mother has sexual intercourse during the breastfeeding period. Aim: The aim of this study is to explore if nurses experience concerns among parents about sexuality during the breastfeeding period related to kubemenda. Furthermore, to investigate the nurses own perception and knowledge about kubemenda and if general information is given to the parents about breastfeeding and sexuality as well as information related to kubemenda. Method: Semi-structured qualitative interviews with open and closed questions with six nurses that worked at Muhimbili National Hospital. All the interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed with content analysis. Result: Kubemenda was defined as ill health in infancy caused by the mother having sexual intercourse during the breast-feeding period. This cultural belief was used as an old fashioned way of family planning. There was a non-existing relation between breastfeeding and kubemenda according to the nurses but they experienced concerns among mothers about timing of sex resumption related to kubemenda. It was hard for the nurses to manage the influence of family-members when informing and educating the mothers about sexuality. There were no guidelines as to what information they should provide regarding kubemenda. Conclusion: Kubemenda is still an existing problem in the society that is hard to eliminate due to strong cultural influence. There is an imminent need of national guidelines for health personnel as to what information they should provide regarding kubemenda.

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