Factors Influencing Neonatal Care, Breastfeeding, and Infant Nutrition in Rural South-West Uganda

 
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Emma Frances Garry*
The Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Worsley Building, University of Leeds, UK. *
Introduction
Efforts to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality are often hindered by sub-optimal neonatal care practices. Religious and cultural beliefs, family members, and hospital staff are all influential factors. Understanding the reasons behind these practices is crucial in promoting good newborn care.
Methods
Eleven semi-structured interviews were carried out to obtain qualitative data from women attending the pediatric ward of Kisiizi Hospital, in rural South-West Uganda. Findings were analysed using a thematic analysis.
Results
Timely initiation of breastfeeding and colostrum feeding were commonly practiced, however sub-optimal practices such as non-exclusive breastfeeding, prelacteal feeding, and early complementary feeding were also reported. Participants expressed concerns about the association between breastfeeding and family planning, pregnancy and menstruation. Delayed washing was commonly practiced; however the practice of adding remedies to the umbilical cord was reported.
Women’s access to information was often supplied by influential, experienced and knowledgeable peers, including family members, health workers and community leaders. Additionally, women also reported that these individuals often have an important, at times autonomous, role in decision-making regarding newborn care. Participants expressed a need for more information, preferably through community-based group teaching.
Conclusion
A greater understanding of the importance of optimal newborn care practices is needed by parents, and more research is needed to determine practices in the local area. It is recommended that education involves not only mothers, but fathers, and influential family and community members. Family involvement in hospital-based teaching and decision-making should be encouraged by staff at Kisiizi Hospital.
 
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Garry F E.. Available From : http://www.pediatriconcall.com/conference/abstract/37/view/862
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