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Magnitude of Early Skin-to-Skin Care Practice and Associated Factors among Postnatal Women in Harari Region Hospitals, Ethiopia, 2017

Eyoel Abebe, Zelalem Bekele, Kedir Teji, Biftu Geda


Background: Early skin-to-skin care (SSC) is among recommended top ten essential routine newborn care practices after birth for all stable mothers and newborns, regardless of mode of delivery. Despite the large quantity of evidence suggesting the positive impact of the method, it is often a neglected practice, contrary to current newborn care guidelines. The main aim of this study was to assess early SSC practice and associated factors among postnatal mothers.

Method: Institution based cross-sectional study on 308 postnatal attending mothers that were attending randomly selected four hospitals providing delivery service in Harar town Eastern Ethiopia during February 1–March 2, 2017. An interview, using a pretested, structured questionnaire was carried out. Data were entered into EPIDATA and transported to SPSS version 20 for analysis. In multivariable data analysis with OR and 95% CI were computed.

Result: The magnitude of early SSC practice in this study was 106 (34.4%) (95%CI: 29.1, 39.7). Health professional guidance on thermal care (AOR=5.687; CI: 2.39, 13.51), mother’s previous information SSC (AOR=4.479; CI: 2.42, 8.29), vaginal delivery (AOR=2.578; CI: 1.10, 6.02), breastfeeding initiation (AOR=2.108; CI: 1.11, 4.06), and presence of conducive environment in hospital were associated with increased odds of early SCC practice.

Conclusion: The magnitude of early SSC was low. Among factors studied, mothers who had health professional guidance on thermal care, mother’s information on SSC and timely breastfeeding initiation were positively associated with early skin-to-skin contact practice.

Recommendation: In order to improve the rate of early SSC provision, health professionals have to promote favoring factors, such as counseling and guidance of mothers on SSC and timely breastfeeding initiation. Result here could be helpful for health facilities as basis for further study and achieve baby friendly service.


Keywords: Early skin-to-skin contact (SSC), KMC, Essential newborn care, Ethiopia


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