WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 75-81

Perinatal care practices in home deliveries in rural Bangalore, India: A community-based, cross-sectional survey

1 Department of Community Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Sapthagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Institute, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
N Ramakrishna Reddy
Department of Community Medicine, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206169

PMID: 28597863

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Background A slowing in the decline in neonatal mortality in India has hindered progress made in reducing overall child mortality. The persisting use of unsafe home deliveries and harmful neonatal care practices may contribute to this stagnation in neonatal mortality rates. Methods A community-based cross-sectional study of mothers residing in rural Bangalore, India, who had given birth within 42 days of the day of home visit was done during 2013–2014. Trained health workers interviewed women who delivered at home about perinatal care practices. The questionnaire used was adapted from previous studies assessing perinatal care practices according to World Health Organization guidelines. Descriptive analyses of perinatal practices were reported as frequencies. The association of various factors with the outcomes clean cord care, thermal care and early initiation of breastfeeding were assessed using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results Of a total of 2230 deliveries, 945 (42.4%) took place in hospitals, while the remainder were at home (57.6%). Among home deliveries, only 30.6% were attended by a skilled worker; a safe-delivery kit was used in 40.6% and 47.1% of attendants had washed their hands before delivery. In most cases (94.6%), the umbilical cord was cut after delivery of the placenta and a non-sterile instrument was used in 26.6% of births. Harmful practices of applications on the cord stump (35.0%), bathing within 6 h (61.6%), pre-lacteal feeding (30.8%) and delayed initiation of breastfeeding (73.3%) were reported. Wrapping was usually delayed, and most (64.7%) neonates were wrapped between 10 min and 60 min after birth. Being Hindu was positively associated with good perinatal care practices, and attending antenatal care at least once was associated with clean cord care and early breastfeeding. Having a trained birth attendant at delivery was associated only with clean cord care. Having a medical doctor/nurse in attendance was associated with only early initiation of breastfeeding. Being a member of a scheduled caste/tribe was positively associated with clean cord care and thermal care. Conclusion Appropriate and culturally acceptable behaviour-change communication strategies are needed to improve delivery and neonatal care practices in Bangalore.

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