Table 2

Acceptability and barriers to evidence based newborn care practices as stated in Focus Group discussions in Busoga, Eastern Uganda.

Recommended Newborn practices

Perceived acceptability

Barriers to the practice


Cutting the cord with a clean instrument


- Difficult in home deliveries

- Poor birth preparedness

- Usually a new razorblade is used

Maintenance of warmth


- Lack of money for baby clothes

- Some mothers improvise with their own used clothes

Delayed bathing


- Belief that babies are born "dirty" and with blood

- Belief that babies who are not bathed "smell" bad

- Mothers prefer that visitors find babies clean

- Health care workers promote early bathing

- Belief that early bathing prevents infections

- Babies bathed on day of delivery and thereafter an average of three times a day

- Wiping the baby with a wet cloth could be an alternative

Maintenance of cleanliness


- Lack of money

- Practice of hand washing not common

- Some wash but without soap

Exclusive breast feeding


- Colostrum not perceived to be good for the baby

- Perceived lack of milk in the breast at birth

- Babies given water and/or glucose at birth

Skilled care seeking for danger signs


- Lack of money

- Married women often have to seek permission from husbands on choice of care

- Lack of access to well equipped facilities

- Health workers lack skills in managing sick newborns

- Child minders report danger signs to mothers

- Both mothers and fathers appreciate importance of seeking immediate care from skilled providers

Practicing clean cord care


- Belief that substances applied to cord help it heal fast

- Cultural practice of seclusion till cord falls off

- Health workers encourage do not encourage dry care

- Mothers are under pressure for cord to heal so that they can return to routine chores

- Health workers encourage application of salty water and spirit

Postnatal check up for newborns at health unit in the first week


- Practice not promoted by health system

- Lack of money for transport

- Lack of transport facilities

- Health workers think this will add to their already big work load

Postnatal check up for newborns at home by a volunteer in the first week


- Identifying new deliveries difficult

- Motivating volunteers

- Community expects drugs at home

Key: The number of crosses reflects the degree of acceptability of the practice

Waiswa et al. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008 8:21   doi:10.1186/1471-2393-8-21

Open Data