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Article Published In Vol.9 (July-Aug 2021)

Perception and experience of early motherhood by female victims in Lualaba province

Pages : 378-387, DOI : https://doi.org/10.14741/ijmcr/v.9.4.4

Author : Malonga Kaj Françoise, Kasongo Kayembe Aimé, Mundongo Tshamba Henri, Ntambue Mukengeshay Abel, Kakoma Sakatolo Zambèze Jean Baptiste

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Context : According to the WHO, nearly 16 million adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth to children each year. Of these births, 95% take place in low- and middle-income countries, more specifically among the poor, poorly educated or rural populations. Teenage pregnancy and childbirth carry a high risk of morbidity and mortality. The occurrence of maternity at this age group is considered by many obstetrician gynecologists as not advisable and that it must be prevented. The DRC is not exempt from this phenomenon. The rate of early motherhood in Lualaba remains high among so many others in the DRC. In the DRC, the wealth tax is much higher in rural areas (on average, 7.3 children per woman) than in urban areas (5.4 children). We also observe that at all ages, fertility rates are higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Age-specific fertility rates are high from the age of 15-19 (138 ‰) and increase rapidly to a maximum at 25-29 years (307 ‰) before declining steadily with age.

Goal : The objective of this study is to determine the perception and experiences of early motherhood by women victims of early motherhood in the province of Lualaba in 2015.

Methods : Our study took place in the Province of Lualaba. This is one of the new provinces resulting from the dismemberment of 2015 and made effective in 2016. It is the fruit of the merger of two former Districts (Lualaba and Kolwezi) of the former province of Katanga. To carry out this research, we conducted a phenomenological qualitative study. We organized 9 FGDs, each including 6-10 mothers. In which we interviewed 62 mothers victims of early motherhood in the province of Lualaba. It was in the eighth focus group that the response was overwhelmed. A semi-structured interview was conducted accompanied by a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results : The average age at first maternity of our respondents was 16.35 ± 1.32 years.The factors involved in the occurrence of early motherhood cited by our respondents were: ignorance, curiosity, the search for positioning or support, the search for or desire for a child, confidence in the partner, partners’ false promises. Sexual harassment, irresponsibility or carelessness of parents, non-accessibility to means of contraception, degrading habits and customs were also mentioned by the latter.From the social and academic consequences experienced by early motherhood by our interviewees, we noted the following: dropping out or dropping out of school, forced marriage, loss of chances of ideal marriage.

Conclusion : Early motherhood in Lualaba province is present there with consequences similar to those of the rest of the world. The causes cited by our interviewees are similar to those of the rest of the world. However, the DRC as a developing country remains dominated by causes strongly linked to precariousness, including the search for positioning and support. Efforts remain to be made in this area with a view to combating and discouraging this scourge, but above all supporting victims to help them get around the related challenge.

Keywords: Perception, Lived experience, Early motherhood, Causes and contributing factors, Lualaba DRC

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