Home care practices for newborns in rural southern Nepal during the first 2 weeks of life

J Trop Pediatr. 2012 Jun;58(3):200-7. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmr057. Epub 2011 Jun 24.


The provision of essential newborn care through integrated packages is essential to improving survival. We analyzed data on newborn care practices collected among infants who participated in a community-based trial in rural Nepal. Analysis focused on feeding, hygienic, skin/cord care and thermal care practices. Data were analyzed for 23,356 and 22,766 newborns on Days 1 and 14, respectively. About 56.6% of the babies were breastfed within 24 h and 80.4% received pre-lacteal feeds within the first 2 weeks of life. Only 13.3% of the caretakers always washed their hands before caring for their infant. Massage with mustard oil was near universal, 82.2% of the babies slept in a warmed room and skin-to-skin contact was rare (4.5%). Many of these commonly practiced behaviors are detrimental to the health and survival of newborns. Key areas to be addressed when designing a community-endorsed care package were identified.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00109616.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Female
  • Heating
  • Home Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene* / standards
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nepal
  • Perinatal Care / methods*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rural Population
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Umbilical Cord

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00109616