DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20200959

A study on traditional practice of head-shaving in newborn care among mothers in a tertiary care centre in Malda, West Bengal, India

Sushama Sahoo, Arpita Singh

Abstract


Background: Newborn period is culturally and traditionally sensitive in every society. Different communities have different traditional practices when it comes to taking care of newborn. Head-shaving in newborn period is one such unique traditional practice existent among rural population of West Bengal. This study was conducted to explore the traditional practice of head-shaving and to highlight its related morbidities among newborns following head-shaving.

Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study conducted at triage of special newborn care unit of Malda Medical College and Hospital among 650 mothers who presented to us with their sick newborns following head-shaving. After obtaining informed consent, mothers were interviewed. The data were collected using pre-designed questionnaires. Statistical analyses of the data were done using SPSS version 21.

Results: In the present study, majority (52.62%) of the mothers were within the age group of 18-21 years and 94.15% belonged to Muslim community. Neonatal head-shaving was usually done on 4th day of life (48.15%) and on 10th day of life (28.77%). Baby bath following head-shaving was given in 49.54% newborns using pond water and 77.70 % mothers used crude mustard oil for massaging following baby bath. Following head-shaving, 37.69% of newborns presented with poor feeding, 33.23% with abdominal distension and 61.23% presented with respiratory distress.

Conclusions: Findings of present study highlights the harmful aspects of traditional practice of head-shaving among newborns in rural Bengal. This practice can be avoided by proper health education and counselling of the mothers and her associates involved in newborn care.


Keywords


Head-shaving, Newborn, Traditional practice

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bangari A, Thapliyal SK, Ruchi, Aggarwal B, Sharma U. Traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care among mothers in a tertiary care centre in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2019;6(6):2600-4.

UNICEF (2019). Estimates generated by the UN inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation in 2019. Available from http:// data.unicef.org.

India Newborn Action Plan (INAP). Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India. September 2014.

Pandey VK, Aggarwal P, Kakkar R. Modified B G Prasad’s Socio-economic classification 2018: The need of an update in the present scenario. Indian J Community Health. 2018;30(1):82-4.

Vijayalikshmi S, Patil RK, Datta SS. Community-based study on newborn care practices and its determinants in rural Pondicherry, India. J Neonatal Biol. 2014;3:158.

Sashikala P, Jyothi C, Chandershekhar V, Kumar C, Bhashkar S. A study on traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care among women attending UHTC, NMC, Nellore, A.P. National J Res Community Med. 2017;6(2):120-4.

Nethra N, Udgiri R. A study on traditional beliefs and practices in newborn care among mothers in a tertiary health care centre in Vijayapura, North Karnataka. Int J Community Med Public Health. 2018;5(3):1035-40.

Reshma, Sujatha R. Cultural practices and beliefs on newborn care among mothers in a selected hospital of Mangalore taluk. Nitte University J Health Sci. 2014;4(2):21-6.

Shankaranarayanan K, Mondkar JA, Chauhan MM, Mascarenhas BM, Mainkar AR, Salvi RY. Oil massage in neonates: an open randomized controlled study of coconut versus mineral oil. Indian Pediatr. 2005;42:877-84.