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Postpartum Practices of Parturient Women in Enugu, South East Nigeria

Author(s): Okeke TC, Ugwu EO, Ezenyeaku CCT, Ikeako LC, Okezie OA

Background: Postpartum period is an important and interesting period in the life of the nursing mothers. It is a medically neglected period that receives relatively less attention than pregnancy and delivery. Aim: To describe the postpartum practices of women in Enugu, South East Nigeria. Subject and Methods: This was a cross sectional study of women attending the postnatal care clinic at the UNTH, Enugu. Data was abstracted and analyzed with statistical software for social sciences version 12.0. The results were presented by percentages. Binomial logistic regression was used to determine the association between some socio‑demographic variables and resumption of coitus. P value less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Out of the 420 mothers, 68.9% (289/420) resumed coitus within 6 weeks of delivery. Only 14.7% (62/420) used contraception before resumption of coitus. There was no significant association when the model was adjusted for age (OR, 1.132, 95% CI (0.691‑1.867), P = 0.612.), Parity (OR, 1.273, 95% CI (0.812‑1.996), P = 0.292) and education (OR, 0.713, 95% CI (0.433‑1.173), P = 0.183). Twenty five percent [25.2% (106/420)] of the women drank various forms of alcoholic beverages to induce lactation while 80.2% (337/420) of the women applied hot compresses on the lower abdomen to aid lochia drainage and involution of the uterus, 75% (315/420) of the women sat in hot water salt (Nacl) solution (sitz bath) in the immediate postpartum to aid lochia drainage, aid perineal wound healing and improve vaginal tone. Conclusion: There is need for medical attention and education on beneficial postpartum practices among women in Enugu, South East Nigeria. Thus, to reduce the associated maternal morbidities in the postpartum period.


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