Newborn care practices in rural Puducherry; a peek into the harmful practices-a cross sectional study

Authors

  • Sujay Kumar Earan Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India
  • Duvvur Preethika Reddu Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India
  • Arulkumaran Arunagirinathan Department of Pediatrics, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Hospital, Puducherry, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18203/2349-3291.ijcp20231432

Keywords:

Cultural practices, Newborn care, Prelacteal feeding, Traditional practices, Umbilical cord

Abstract

Background: Immediate care of the newborn is vital not only for the survival but for the growth and overall development of the child. Owing to regional customs and practices, various traditional practices are followed during the neonatal period. There are many beliefs that have developed around those practices and the same has been passed on from one generation to the other. There is a need to understand the dynamic factors which are contributing to the potentially harmful practices and the role the family plays

Methods: This was a cross sectional hospital-based study. The study was conducted in Sri Manakula Vinayagar medical college and hospital, tertiary care centre catering to the nearby rural population in Puducherry, India.

Results: There was a practice of kajal application to the babies by the care, 606 (89.1%) mothers had the habit of applying kajal to the babies. Care givers also had the practice of instilling oil in either the ear or nose of the babies in order to cure any ailments related to the nose or ears, 277 (40.73%) of them had the habit of oil instillation. Pre-lacteal or extra lacteal feeds which included cow’s milk, buffalo or goat’s milk, water, honey, sugar water was given among 588 (86.4%) babies. In 55% of them some herbal medicine or over the counter medicines given as they believed that it would help in the digestion of the baby and would decrease the excessive crying in baby.

Conclusions: Every country owing to its geography cultural variations has their unique traditional rituals and practices. The good practices followed in the community must be motivated and reinforced at the same time all the family members must be made aware of the practices that are detrimental to the health of the baby, such practices must be discouraged. There is a need to plan for a culturally acceptable and scientifically appropriate practice of neonatal health care.

References

Gurung G. Practices on immediate care of newborn in the communities of Kailali district. Nepal Med Coll J. 2008;10(1):41-4.

Callaghan-Koru JA, Seifu A, Tholandi M, De Graft-Johnson J, Daniel E, Rawlins B et al. Newborn care practices at home and in health facilities in 4 regions of Ethiopia. BMC Pediatr. 2013;13(1):1-1.

Ekure EN, Ezeaka VC, Iroha EO, Egri-Okwaji MT. Neonatal Mortality of Inborns in the Neonatal Unit of a Tertiary Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. Nig Quarterly J Hospital Med. 2005;15(2):55-8.

Raman S, Srinivasan K, Kurpad A, Razee H, Ritchie J. “Nothing special, everything is maamuli”: socio-cultural and family practices influencing the perinatal period in urban India. PLoS One. 2014;9(11):e111900.

Shah BD, Dwivedi LK. Newborn care practices: A case study of tribal women, Gujarat. Health. 2013;2013.

Fikree FF, Ali TS, Durocher JM, Rahbar MH. Newborn care practices in low socioeconomic settlements of Karachi, Pakistan. Social Sci Med. 2005;60(5):911-21.

Thatte N, Mullany LC, Khatry SK, Katz J, Tielsch JM, Darmstadt GL. Traditional birth attendants in rural Nepal: knowledge, attitudes and practices about maternal and newborn health. Global Pub Heal. 2009;4(6):600-17.

Nethra N, Udgiri R. A study on traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care among mothers in a tertiary health care centre in Vijayapura, North Karnataka. Int J Community Med Publ Health. 2018;5(3):1035-40.

Mullany LC, Darmstadt GL, Katz J, Khatry SK, LeClerq SC, Adhikari RK, Tielsch JM. Risk factors for umbilical cord infection among newborns of southern Nepal. Am J Epidemiol. 2007;165(2):203-11.

Sreeramareddy CT, Joshi HS, Sreekumaran BV, Giri S, Chuni N. Home delivery and newborn care practices among urban women in western Nepal: a questionnaire survey. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2006;6(1):1-0.

Thapliyal SK. Traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care among mothers in a tertiary care centre in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Int J Community Med Publ Health. 2019;6(6):2600.

Manan A. Pregnancy and childbearing in Aceh, Indonesia: An ethnographic study. Mankind Quarterly. 2021;62(1).

Kesterton AJ, Cleland J. Neonatal care in rural Karnataka: healthy and harmful practices, the potential for change. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2009;9(1):1-3.

Bang AT, Bang RA, Baitule SB, Reddy MH, Deshmukh MD. Effect of home-based neonatal care and management of sepsis on neonatal mortality: field trial in rural India. The lancet. 1999;354(9194):1955-61.

Manandhar DS, Osrin D, Shrestha BP, Mesko N, Morrison J, Tumbahangphe KM et al. Effect of a participatory intervention with women's groups on birth outcomes in Nepal: cluster-randomised controlled trial. The Lancet. 2004;364(9438):970-9.

Singh DR, Harvey CM, Bohara P, Nath D, Singh S, Szabo S et al. Factors associated with newborn care knowledge and practices in the upper Himalayas. PloS one. 2019;14(9):e0222582.

Downloads

Published

2023-05-12

Issue

Section

Original Research Articles