A Study on Traditional Beliefs and Practices during the Postpartum Period among Mothers at a District Hospital in Goa
Background: Several mothers do not adhere to the standard medical advice given by health professionals as observed during medical practice and tend to follow potential harmful practices during the postnatal period. Little evidence is available in the state of Goa on the various traditional practices observed by mothers post-delivery.
Aim: To identify and explore various traditional beliefs and practices concerning newborn care and postpartum period among postnatal mothers at South Goa District Hospital.
Materials and Method: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of 3 months using convenient sampling among admitted postnatal mothers. Data were entered into an Excel spreadsheet and analysed using SPSS version 22.
Results: Majority of the study participants breastfed their newborn babies within 24 hours of childbirth (97.50%). 96.25% of the mothers fed colostrum to their newborn babies. A significant proportion of mothers used new washed clothes for their babies (83.75%) and bathed them five days post-delivery (72.5%). No dressing was applied to baby’s umbilical stump (58.75%). Postpartum home confinement with newborn baby for 40 days was observed by 22.5% of the mothers. Mothers applied kajal to the baby’s face and eyes (50%), used bangles (35%) and anklets (16.25%) to protect baby from evil eye.
Conclusion: The study highlighted the need for awareness of health professionals about the popular traditional practices observed among postnatal mothers in order to eliminate possible harmful practices and reinforce beneficial practices for a healthy postpartum period for the mother.
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