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J Health Popul Nutr. 2006 Dec;24(4):394-402.

Maternal and newborn-care practices during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postnatal period: a comparison in three rural districts in Bangladesh.

Author information

  • 1UCL Centre for International Health and Development, Institute of Child Health, University College London, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK. s.barnett@ich.ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of maternal and newborn-care practices among women reporting a birth in the previous year in three districts in different divisions of Bangladesh. In 2003, 6,785 women, who had delivered a newborn infant in the previous year, across three districts in Bangladesh, were interviewed. Overall, less than half of the women received any antenatal care, and 11% received a minimum of four check-ups. Only 18% took iron tablets for at least four months during pregnancy. Over 90% of the 6,785 deliveries took place at home, and only 11% were attended either by a doctor or by a nurse. The mothers reported three key hygienic practices in 54% of deliveries: attendants washing their hands with soap and boiling cord-tie and blade for cutting the cord. Forty-four percent of the 6,785 infants were bathed immediately after delivery, and 42% were given colostrum as their first food. The results suggest that maternal and newborn-care remains a cause of concern in rural Bangladesh. Short-term policies to promote healthy behaviour in the home are needed, in addition to the long-term goal of skilled birth attendance.

PMID:
17591336
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3001143
Free PMC Article
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