Globally, approximately three million neonates die in the ﬁrst month of life. Neonatal mortality is a public problem in low and middle-income counties. Home-based good newborn care practice by lactating mothers is vital to improve newborns’ health. In Ethiopia, home-based cultural newborn care practice among lactating mothers is very common, in contrast to standard essential newborn care practice. Thus, this study aimed to assess home-based newborn care practices among lactating mothers and associated factors in rural districts of Gedeo Zone, Southern Ethiopia, in 2018.
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in the rural districts of Gedeo Zone, Southern Ethiopia. A single population formula was used to determine the sample size, and 834 lactating mothers were enrolled in the study. Multistage sampling techniques were used to select study participants. Data were collected using a pre-tested interviewer-administered structured questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS version 22 software (IBM Corporation, Armonk, NY, USA). To determine associated factors with good newborn care practice among lactating mothers, the odds ratio with 95% conﬁdence interval was used.
The level of good newborn care practice among lactating mothers at home was 24.1% with 95% CI: 2.5–9.7. The factors signiﬁcantly associated were maternal education (adjusted OR=2.6; 95% CI: 1.8–3.9), maternal employment (adjusted OR=2.1; 95% CI: 1.4–3.1), pregnancy intention (adjusted OR=1.7, 95% CI: 1.2–2.2), antenatal care visit (adjusted OR=5.7, 95% CI 3.9–7.9), and birth interval (adjusted OR=1.9, 95% CI: 1.3–2.8).
The level of good newborn care practices among lactating mothers at home was found to be low. Thus, advancing women’s education and employment in the community, and providing quality prenatal care are suggested to scale up good newborn care practice among lactating mothers at home. Additionally, an observational study might be needed to identify further associated factors.