The role and attributes of social networks in the provision of support to women after stillbirth: Experiences from Uganda
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Communities exert stigma on mothers after stillbirth despite their potential to ofer social support to the grieving family. Maternal healthcare-seeking behaviors are socially reinforced rendering a social network approach vital in understanding support dynamics which when utilized can improve community response to mothers experiencing stillbirth. However, the form and direction of social support for women when in need is not clear. The study explored the role and attributes of women’s social networks in the provision of support to mothers who have experienced a stillbirth in Uganda. An exploratory cross-sectional study design adopting a social network approach was conducted. Data collection following established procedures was conducted on a convenient sample of 17 mothers who had experienced a stillbirth six months before the study. Frequencies and bivariate analysis were conducted to determine the factors infuencing the provision of social support from 293 network members elicited during the alter generation. We then performed a Poisson regression on each of the social support forms and the explanatory variables. Network structure variables were calculated using UCINET version 6 while Netdraw facilitated the visualization of networks.