Table 5

Home care practices for maternal problems suggested in focus group discussions

Maternal problem

Dietary remedy

Other practices


Antepartum haemorrhage

Meat, milk and eggs.

Prolonged labour

Hot sugar water, hot milk and eggs.

Hot oil massage with hot compression to woman's lower back.

Retained placenta

Water from a winnowing mat.

Water or alcohol poured from one cup to another.

Eggs, milk and hot foods

Oil massage to woman's head and abdomen.

Abdomen wrapped tightly with large cloth. A root tied around abdomen or put into cloth.

Woman's hair thrust into her mouth to induce vomiting.

Talisman placed around woman's neck.

Train ticket bound to woman's abdomen. Cord cut and weighted with object such as spade.

Woman must remain awake.

Postpartum haemorrhage

Hot, spicy soup, oil and honey.

Woman kept warm and hot compression applied.

Postpartum swelling of the body

Branches of particular plant placed on top of embers of fire, then layer of old clothes. Mother lies on top of this, covered by quilt. She must sweat. She is dried and must stay in the sun. Oil massage and hot compression then performed.

Postpartum abdominal pain

Oil and honey.

Hot stone wrapped in old clothes placed on woman's abdomen.

Poor breast milk supply

Hot, spicy soup.

Breasts massaged with warm water.

For the baby: clarified butter to moisten the mouth; milk from livestock or tin; wet nursing; flour and water porridge.

Swollen breast

Breast heated by bathing in hot water and milk gently squeezed out.


Mesko et al. BMC International Health and Human Rights 2003 3:3   doi:10.1186/1472-698X-3-3

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