Background: Neonatal mortality in developing countries is one of the most important problems that need immediate attention in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals.
Aims & Objective: To assess the knowledge and practices of pregnant women regarding good and harmful neonatal practices.
Material and Methods: Study Design: A community based study. Setting: Field practice areas of Urban Health Training Center Department of Community Medicine, JNMCH, AMU Aligarh. Participants: 200 pregnant women. Sampling: Purposive sampling. Study Period: one year. Statistical Analysis: Data analysed with Epi Info version 3.5.1. Percentages, and Chi Square Test used.
Results: Initiation of breastfeeding within 1 hour was done only in 16% of babies. Colostrum was given by 41% mothers. 20% babies were exclusively breastfed. Witch craft in neonatal illness was noticed in 70% babies. Majority of babies (97%) were applied kajal in the eyes. Prelacteal feeds were given in 80% and pacifiers in 72.5% babies. All the home deliveries except one were conducted by untrained dais. Untrained Dai did not wash their hands with soap and water in 64.5% of home deliveries. Dark and ill-ventilated room for conducting the delivery was used in 82% deliveries. The cord was cut with a used blade, or any unsterile scissors, knife, or sickle, broken cup in 68.8% of deliveries. Application of ghee/ cow dung on the cord was done in 93.5% deliveries. 100% newborns were given bath soon after birth. Delivery room was not warm in 54.6% of deliveries.
Conclusion: It was concluded that harmful newborn care practices were common. This can be attributed largely to dais because most of deliveries were conducted at home. Some good practices were prevalent in the community like new blade, delivery in a warm room, practice of rooming-in.
Colostrum; Exclusively Breastfeeding; Pacifiers; Prelacteal Feeds; Witch Craft