Maternal cultural practices for neonates' care in upper Egypt.
PROBLEM:Little is known about the home practices and care given to neonates born in Egypt. BACKGROUND:Two thirds of all infant deaths in Egypt occur in the neonatal period and many of these deaths occur in the home environment out of sight of health care providers. Understanding cultural practices and beliefs about caring for neonates may help direct appropriate interventions to improve infant outcomes. AIM:To describe maternal cultural care practices used with neonates and highlight harmful practices in order to identify areas of required change in care. METHODS:A descriptive study using a convenience sample of 200 women recruiting from outpatient pediatric facilities in Qena, Egypt. Face to face interviews were used to gather data. FINDINGS:More than one third (37.5%) of the studied women given birth in the home, and a traditional birth attendant assisted with the majority of home births (90%). Breast-feeding was delayed between 1 and 4days in 27% of the women and they were more likely to use cultural practices, rather than modern medical practices, for neonatal eye and umbilical care. Maternal cultural practices used in the home can be categorized as being harmful, beneficial, and as having no-effect on neonatal health based upon available evidence. DISCUSSION:A variety of cultural practices are used by women for neonatal care in upper Egypt. Many of these practices may have a negative effect on neonatal health and should be discontinued. CONCLUSION:Comprehensive interventions are needed to modify women' care practices.
Osman, A; Gaffer, Y; Sharkawy, A; Brandon, D
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