Mary JeniferCollege of Nursing, CMC, India
Title: Cultural practices and beliefs regarding newborn care in South India
The days and weeks following child birth are a critical phase in the lives of mothers and newborn babies. According to the WHO, 45% of under-five deaths occur during the 1st month of life. Several factors contribute to neonatal mortality in India and one of the reasons is following harmful newborn care practices such as applying different unsterile material on the umbilical cord and instilling liquids and oils in the ears and nose. These practices are often associated with the cultural beliefs. The objective of this focused ethnography study was to bring forth a description of the cultural aspects of newborn care in South India and identify cultural themes related to newborn care which will help health professionals to understand and tailor interventions in the health-care setting. Three focus group discussions were conducted in the post-natal units of a tertiary hospital in South India using a semi-structured interview guide. Data from translated interviews were coded and categorised to identify cultural themes. Themes such as rituals, beliefs, resistance and adaptation and solutions evolved from the study. The study was successful in highlighting cultural practices and their meanings, which provides an insight for nurses on how to deliver educational messages, considering the cultural values and beliefs of the mothers.
To be updated