Sonto Maputle has completed her PhD in 2004 from the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. She is an advanced midwife, Professor and the Researcher at the School of Health Sciences, University of Venda in South Africa. She has published more than 40 papers in reputed journals on maternal health issues and a reviewer for reputed journals. Her interest: Cultural and traditional practices of Maternal and Child health care, woman-centered care.


Woman-centered care refers to a complex, multidimensional, dynamic process of providing safe, skilled and individualized care. It responds to the physical, emotional and psychosocial needs of the mother during childbirth. Objective: To formulate and describe criteria that could facilitate the implementation of woman-centered care in the childbirth units of Limpopo Province in South Africa. Criteria were developed following concept analysis of “woman centered care’. Method: From the results of concept analysis, the attributes of ‘woman-centered care’ derived and criteria that were integrated within the framework of the Batho-Pele principles were formulated. The six 'guidelines for developing guidelines' of an evidence-based Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) development process approach were adapted to formulate the criteria. The process included the establishment of a multidisciplinary guideline development group, involvement of consumers, identification of clinical questions or problems, systematic searches for and appraisal of research evidence, a process for drafting recommendations, consultation with others beyond the guideline development group, and on-going review and updating of the criteria. Findings: Criteria integrated into the framework of Batho Pele principles were formulated, namely, during childbirth the attending midwife demonstrates the skills of: • facilitating mutual participation and responsibility-sharing, sharing or exchanging information and empowering, enhancing attitudes of open communication and listening, accommodating mothers’ choices and preferences and maximizing the human and material infrastructure through the integration of the Batho-Pele principles. Implications: Formulated criteria for ‘woman-centered care’ would be used as an institutional self-evaluation tool to enhance implementation of the Batho-Pele principles framework in childbirth units of Limpopo province, South Africa. This could improve quality care in childbirth units.