Lilian Kariuki, Grace Githemo, John Ngugi


Background: Neonatal health is necessary in decreasing child mortality but often gets minimal attention. Research evidence in third world countries has shown that practices such as poor cord care and breastfeeding practices impact on neonatal health. This study aimed to determine the neonatal care practices among postnatal mothers and the relationships between various factors and these practices at the Kiambu and Thika County Hospitals.

Methods: This was a cross sectional descriptive study design. Stratified sampling method was used to identify the sample for the study. Self-administered and interviewer administered questionnaires were used to collect data, practice was assessed through a likert scale, analyzed through SPSS and presented using descriptive statistics. Chi square test of significance (p ≤0.05) was used to test the relationships between the various explanatory factors and the neonatal care practices among postnatal mothers.

Results: A total of 128 postnatal mothers participated in the study with the mean age being 26 ±5.8 years. There was statistical significance between information received on breastfeeding, eye care, thermoregulation, immunization and actual practices (p<0.05).However there was no statistical association between social demographic, socioeconomic, sociocultural and institution factors and neonatal care practices indicating  that they did not influence these practices.

Conclusion: Adequate knowledge was found towards cord care with gaps in practice existing in breastfeeding, eye care and thermoregulation. Social demographic, socio-economic, socio-cultural and institution factors did not influence neonatal care practices.

Recommendation: More emphasis should be put on maternal education regarding neonatal care practices (thermoregulation, eye care, skin care and breastfeeding practices). Further research is recommended to find out why there are negative practices on breastfeeding and eye care despite being knowledgeable on those practices.

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