The Open Public Health Journal

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Early Newborn Bath and Associated Factors among Parturient Women Who Gave Birth in the Last Month in Harar Region, Eastern Ethiopia, 2017.

Fissaha T. Welay1, *, Meresa B. Mengesha1, Tsige S. Gebremedhin2, Senait G. Gebremeskel1, Hagos D. Hidru2, Desta A. Weldegeorges1, Areaya G. Hailu3, Mulu F. Baraki1, Selam S. Kassahun1
1 Department of Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Science, Adigrat University, Adigrat, Ethiopia
2 Department of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Science, Adigrat University, Adigrat, Ethiopia
3 Department of Public Health, Gamby Medical and Business College, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



Neonatal thermal care is a vital intervention as newborns are susceptible to hypothermia than adults for certain reasons such as having a large body surface area, thin skin, little insulating fat, and overwhelmed thermoregulation mechanisms. Many newborn complications develop because of hypothermia due to thermal care malpractices. The leading thermal practice by women of developing countries is early bathing which predisposes newborns for life-threatening situations, such as low blood sugar levels, respiratory distress, abnormal clotting, jaundice, pulmonary hemorrhage and increased risk of developing infections. Hence, this research is aimed to provide substantial evidence regarding the women’s practices of newborn bath and the factors that determine early (<24hr) bathing.


The study aimed to assess the early newborn bath and its associated factors among parturient women who gave birth in the last month in the Harar region, Eastern Ethiopia, 2017.


The study applied an institutional-based cross-sectional study design by recruiting 433 women. The data collectors interviewed study participants face to face at the baby immunization ward from two hospitals and four health centers. The author calculated the sample size using a double population proportion formula. A systematic sampling technique from the women’s medical registration frame was used to select the final study participants. The data collectors gathered the data using a structured questionnaire adapted from different literature, checking its consistency, reliability and validity by a pretest.


The response rate of this study was 99.8%. The early newborn bathing practice was found in 153 (35.4% with 95% (CI): (30.3%, 40.3%) women. Uneducated (AOR=3.12 95% CI: (2.12-5.3), no knowledge of hypothermia (AOR=4.95 95% CI: (3.10-12.2), being Primi para (AOR=3.5 95% CI: (2.5-5.6) and no utilization of newborn bed net (AOR=6.2 95% CI: (3.3-45) were statistically significant factors determining early newborn bathing practice.


The study revealed that although the ministry implemented a good deal of awareness promotion activities, women still practice early newborn bathing. Maternal illiteracy, giving birth for the first time, knowledge deficiency related to hypothermia and newborn bed net application were among the factors which demand improvement to solve the problem.

Keywords: Early bathing, Parturient women, Newborn, Associated factors, Harar region, Eastern Ethiopia.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 13
First Page: 196
Last Page: 202
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-13-196
DOI: 10.2174/1874944502013010196

Article History:

Received Date: 06/01/2020
Revision Received Date: 20/03/2020
Acceptance Date: 29/03/2020
Electronic publication date: 23/05/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Welay et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to the author at the Department of Midwifery, College of Medicine and Health Science, Adigrat University, Adigrat, Ethiopia; Tel: +251914437846; E-mail:

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