Mothers’ Knowledge Regarding Neonatal Baby Care

M.N. Priyadarshanie, K. Pethiyagoda


Neonatal mortality is a major problem, all over the world especially, in the developing countries. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge of mothers, who were admitted to the postnatal ward of Teaching Hospital Kurunegala regarding the neonatal baby care. This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in the post-natal ward, at the Teaching Hospital in Kurunegala (North Western Province), Sri Lanka. The data was collected by interviewing 246 post-natal mothers, aged 15 – 45 years, who were in the post-natal ward, during the period of 18th April to 2nd May 2011. The mean age of the sample was 26 years. Nearly half of mothers (48.4%) completed education up to O/L. The percentage of mothers who completed education up to secondary and higher education level was 41.3%. A considerable proportion of mothers were unemployed (86%). Half of them had one child. The percentage of postnatal mothers, who had two children, is 30%. Others had more than two children.
Education level was found to be positively and significantly associated with knowledge regarding neonatal care. Additionally, occupation and age too were found to be significantly associated with knowledge level. Parity did not show a significant association with maternal knowledge regarding neonatal care as expected. The results showed that mothers’ knowledge and practices regarding breast feeding was at a satisfactory level in mothers selected to the sample population. But knowledge of mothers was not at a satisfactory level regarding umbilical cord care. More than half of them were in less than average knowledge level. It was found that mothers’ knowledge of prevention of neonatal hypothermia was poor. A large proportion of them (45.52%) were in the poor knowledge group and 42.27% of them were in very poor knowledge group. The results showed clearly that mothers’ knowledge of prevention of neonatal hypothermia was the most deficient knowledge field of mothers who lived in Kurunegala area. Maternal knowledge of breastfeeding was the only satisfactory knowledge field from these three areas for mother who lived in Kurunegala area. The study showed in majority of mothers, adequate knowledge and practices regarding neonatal care were lacking. Especially, in the field of prevention of neonatal hypothermia and care for the neonatal umbilical cord.


Kurunegala; Neonatal care; Priyadarshanie; Sri Lanka

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