A STUDY OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE OF POSTNATAL MOTHERS ON NEWBORN CARE AT A HOSPITAL SETTING
*Dr. P. Punitha and Dr. K. S. Kumaravel
Introduction: Care of the newborn baby had always been traditionally done by mothers. Knowledge of mothers on neonatal care could help in bringing down the neonatal mortality further. Methods: This descriptive study was carried out in the postnatal ward of Govt Thiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital, Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu. One hundred consecutive mothers who delivered in our hospital were recruited into the study. Data was collected using a standard questionnaire developed for this study. Results: About 12% of mothers had adequate knowledge, 78% of mothers had inadequate knowledge and 10% mothers had poor knowledge about neonatal care. More than 50% of the mothers in the study group had adequate knowledge about prelacteal feeds, neonatal jaundice, harmful effects of oil instillation, advantages of burping, uselessness of gripe water and correct weaning practices. But adequate knowledge was lacking in areas like kangaroo mother care, umbilical cord care, complete immunisation schedules and the time for first baby bath. Urban domicile, multiparity, higher education and higher maternal age were associated with significantly higher knowledge scores. Conclusion: This study has found out the key areas to focus - kangaroo mother care, umbilical cord care, complete immunisation schedules and the time for first baby bath. Hence effective strategies should be planned for increasing the knowledge of mothers in neonatal care.
Keywords: prelacteal feeds, neonatal jaundice, harmful.
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