Newborn cord care practices amongst mothers in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

  • PI Opara
  • T Jaja
  • TG Okari
Keywords: Newborn, Cord Care, Practices


Background:Cord care is an important community based intervention to reduce morbidity and mortality in newborns. Poor cord care practices promote neonatal infections which account for a large proportion of the annual global neonatal deaths most of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study explored cord care practices amongst mothers in Port Harcourt. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out amongst mothers presenting with children 0-6 months old to the Paediatric Outpatient and Infant Welfare Clinics of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. Data were collected using a simple structured questionnaire. Information obtained included biodata, age and sex of last baby, social class, place of antenatal care and delivery, and cord care practices. Data were analysed using SPSS version 16.0 Results: Two hundred and ten mothers participated in the study. 71.9% were of high social class. Over 80% received antenatal care in recognized Government hospitals, while 24 (11.5%) had traditional birth attendant (TBA)/home deliveries. Mothers' level of education was significantly associated with place of antenatal care and place of delivery (p= 0.000). 36.2% of mothers did not know what was used to cut baby's cord. 200 (95.3%) used methylated spirit to clean the cord but 69 (32.4%) applied potentially dangerous substances after cleaning with methylated spirit. 2.9% of mothers reported cord problems. Conclusion: Although most mothers had antenatal care in Government hospitals, there was a high rate of use of potentially dangerous substances for cord care. There is need for continued education of mothers on correct cord care practices.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2006-0734
print ISSN: 2006-0734