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Women Birth. 2013 Sep;26(3):202-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2013.03.002. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Changing the risky beliefs of post-partum women about therapeutic sun-exposure.

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  • 1Skin Cancer Research Group, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.



Many post-partum women hold risky beliefs about perceived therapeutic benefits of sun-exposure in the post-partum period and infancy.


Can a maternity hospital based educational intervention reduce the prevalence of such beliefs among post-partum women?


In this outcome evaluation of an interventional study, two groups of healthy post-partum women (hospital inpatients) were interviewed, 1-4 days following delivery. The first cross-section (106 women) was recruited prior to in-services for maternity staff; the second (203 women) was recruited after completion of the in-services. Data were compared between the groups.


More pre-intervention than post-intervention women reported they would expose their baby to sunlight to treat suspected jaundice (28.8% vs. 13.3%; p<0.001) or help his/her skin adapt to the sun (10.5% vs. 2.5%; p=0.003); or use sunlight to manage breastfeeding-associated sore/cracked nipples (7.6% vs. 2%; p=0.026).


This simple, effective educational intervention could be implemented in programmes for parents, health professionals and students.

Copyright © 2013 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Midwives; Neonatal jaundice; Perceived therapeutic benefits; Post-partum women; Sun-exposure

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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