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Aim: This study determined how Nigerian nursing mothers deal with umbilical cord care.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study on 388 Nigerian nursing mothers. Study population was randomly selected using multistage sampling technique. A validated semi-structured questionnaire was performed and data was analyzed using the statistical package for social science (SPSS).
Results: Most mothers (380 (97.9%)) cleaned babies’ cord. It was 59 (15.2%) mothers who did not clean the cord at every time of changing the diaper. Regarding hand hygiene, only 88 (22.7%) washed their hands with soap. Only 217 (55.9%) cleaned the base of the cord first before the cleaning the surrounding skin. A razor was used to cut the cord in 186 (47.9%). Cord was clamped in 373 (96.1%), and cord clamp was made by tying the cord. A few mothers (131 (22.8%)) used chlorhexidine to the cord disinfaction, while 116 (29.9%) still used herbs. There was a significant relationship between levels of education, income, number of children on cord care practice (P=0.00, 0.00, 0.019).
Conclusion: Many women in this area dealt with the cord in their own way and the incidence of chlorhexidine use, which is a recommended disinfection, was very low. Safety cord procedure/disinfection should be urgently educated. The present data may be useful to further making health policy strategy regarding cord hygiene in this area. This data may be also generalizable to any other developing countries.
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