International Journal of
Nursing and Midwifery

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Nurs. Midwifery
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2456
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJNM
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 212

Full Length Research Paper

The partograph: A labour management tool or a midwifery record?

Mathibe-Neke J. M.
  • Mathibe-Neke J. M.
  • University of South Africa, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
Lebeko F. L.
  • Lebeko F. L.
  • Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar
Motupa B.
  • Motupa B.
  • WF Knobel Hospital, South Africa.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Accepted: 13 September 2013
  •  Published: 31 December 2013


A partograph is a graphical presentation of a woman’s progress of labour. Once the woman has true signs of labour, the midwife initiates the use of the partograph to record her findings. The partograph was endorsed and modified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) between 1990 and 2000 to monitor the fetal and maternal wellbeing during the active stage of labour. Monitoring help the midwives and the mother in achieving spontaneous vaginal delivery with low risk of both morbidity and mortality. Furthermore, accurate partograph recordkeeping enables an effective communication between healthcare professionals who manage women in labour. Documentation and recordkeeping have always been integral to midwifery practice and continue to be so. The aim of the study was to establish the perception of the use of the partograph by midwives, and to establish and describe the factors that contribute to the underutilization of the partograph by midwives during the management of labour. The context of the study was an Academic Hospital and a Midwifery seminar, Gauteng Province, South Africa. A cross-sectional descriptive quantitative study was conducted. Sampling was purposeful. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. The findings revealed that midwives understood the importance of the use of the partograph but do not effectively use it due to a number of factors.

Key words: Labour management, midwife, partograph.