Postnatal Care

Continuity of care

Despite many improvements in access to health care, postnatal care coverage in South Africa remains poor. In addition, logistical reasons such as the cost of transport, or the economic costs of taking time off work, mean that women find it difficult to attend health facilities for their own wellbeing after the birth of their babies.

At the PMHP, we call all our clients 6 to 10 weeks after they have given birth. This is an opportunity to evaluate the mother’s current mood, functioning, bonding with her baby and breastfeeding. It can also act as an additional therapeutic intervention if necessary. The phone call usually lasts between 25 and 45 minutes. For women who cannot attend the clinic in person, the PMHP counsellor may provide telephonic counselling sessions as needed, up until one year after the birth.

Postnatal assessment

The PMHP incorporates a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process into its service programme. Statistical analysis of client logs and counselling data from 2015 shows that, on average 

  • 74 %  of clients report successful bonding with their baby
  • 87 % of clients report a positive life experience at the time of assessment.

Our analyses show that PMHP counselling has a beneficial impact on clients, in terms of mood, coping, and general functioning. We have also shown that our intervention builds the clients’ assertiveness and resilience to face the challenges of motherhood in difficult social and economic conditions.

Read the latest outcomes report here.