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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 156-161

An exploratory study on traditional practices of families during the perinatal period among traditional birth attendants in Uttarakhand

1 Department of Community and Family Medicine, AIIMS-Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 College of Nursing, AIIMS-Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rakesh Sharma
College of Nursing, AIIMS-Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_697_19

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Introduction: India has a current maternal mortality rate of 130 which contributes to 20% of the total mortality rate in the world and more than a quarter of neonatal deaths; nearly 0.75 million neonates have died in India. The present study aimed to explore the cultural practices during the perinatal period including newborn care in Uttarakhand. Materials and Methods: A qualitative descriptive design to explore self-experience for significant years in the field of maternal care and deliveries among 990 traditional birth attendants from 13 districts of Uttarakhand. Focused one-to-one in-depth interviews were done to collect the data. The data was expressed by participants in the form of narrations, picturizations, songs, and role-plays to show the techniques which were translated from the language of interviews to English before analysis of the data. Results: Wide variety of cultural practices have been identified during various stages of the perinatal period. Most of the participants (80%) expressed that families believe that the pregnant women should not eat green vegetables, yam, pulses, red grams, papaya, and mangoes and that she should eat less during pregnancy. The routine activity should be done regularly to make labor process easier. Most of the mothers (90%) delivered on the floor of the cowshed demarcated with cow dung. Participants expressed that the mother had to walk for 2 km for taking bath after delivery before she touches the baby. Sprinkling cow's urine is also a common practice after delivery in and around the house and on the mother. It was also found that they don't breastfeed the baby for 3 days since colostrum is not considered good for the baby. Conclusion: The practices which are proven to be beneficial to the mother and baby should be advocated to keep our cultural practices alive, at the same time it is important to discourage communities from harmful practices concerning the mother and the baby.

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