The role of Cultural Beliefs and Practices in Postpartum and Newborn Care - A Qualitative study among newly-delivered mothers, their caregivers and community level health workers in a rural setting in South India.

  • Meera George Travancore Medical College Hospital, Kollam, Kerala
  • Avita Rose Johnson St John’s Medical College, Bangalore
  • Rosalind Clara Basil
  • Sunayana N Murthy
  • Twinkle Agrawal
Keywords: cultural beliefs, cultural practices, postpartum care, newborn care.

Abstract

SUMMARY

Community-based postpartum care of mothers and newborns is vital to achieve mortality reduction. This qualitative study explored cultural beliefs and practices regarding postpartum care of mothers and newborns in rural Karnataka. Focus group discussions with newly delivered mothers and their caregivers in a rural maternity hospital, and in-depth interviews with community level health workers revealed cessation of the practice of withholding colostrum and the barbaric practice of branding, but found persisting harmful cultural beliefs and practices like withholding nutritious foods considered “hot” or “cold”, inadequate postpartum ambulation, separating husband and wife for up to a year or more after the birth, application of various substances to the umbilical stump and eyes of the newborn and giving pre-lacteal feeds.Antenatal and postpartum mothers, their caregivers, including elders in the family should be targeted by community level health workers for counseling and behavior change.

 

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Author Biography

Twinkle Agrawal

Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, St John’s Medical College, Bangalore, India

Published
2018-06-30
How to Cite
1.
George M, Johnson A, Basil R, Murthy S, Agrawal T. The role of Cultural Beliefs and Practices in Postpartum and Newborn Care - A Qualitative study among newly-delivered mothers, their caregivers and community level health workers in a rural setting in South India. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 30Jun.2018 [cited 19Jul.2018];30(2). Available from: http://www.iapsmupuk.org/journal/index.php/IJCH/article/view/871
Section
Short Article

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