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Postpartum beliefs and practices in Danbare village, Northern Nigeria

Postpartum beliefs and practices in Danbare village, Northern Nigeria

Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 26(3): 211-215

Postpartum cultural beliefs and practices are widely prevalent in northern Nigeria. Using a cross-sectional survey, we set out to examine contemporary postpartum beliefs and practices among a cohort of 300 mothers in Danbare village, northern Nigeria. Common postpartum practices included sexual abstinence (100%), physical confinement (88%), hot ritual baths (86%), nursing in heated rooms (84%) and ingestion of gruel enriched with local salt (83%). The majority of mothers (93%) believed that these practices made them stronger and helped them regain their physiologic state. Most respondents believed that non-observance could lead to body swelling, foul-smelling lochia and perineal pain. Mothers with formal education were significantly more likely to believe that these practices were non-beneficial compared with those mothers without formal education (odds ratio (OR) = 9.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 3.6 - 28.8). Almost half of the respondents (49%) said they would continue with these practices. In conclusion, women are still holding on to postpartum cultural beliefs and practices in northern Nigeria. However, educated women could act as useful agents of change towards the elimination of practices harmful to the health of mothers and their children.

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Accession: 004461903

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16698627

DOI: 10.1080/01443610500508345

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