Home birth preference, childbirth, and newborn care practices in rural Peruvian Amazon

N. Irene Del Mastro, Paul J. Tejada-Llacsa, Stefan Reinders, Raquel Pérez, Yliana Solís, Isaac Alva, Magaly M. Blas

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

12 Citas (Scopus)


Home birth is very common in the Peruvian Amazon. In rural areas of the Loreto region, home to indigenous populations such as the Kukama-Kukamiria, birth takes place at home constantly. This study aims to understand the preference for home births as well as childbirth and newborn care practices among Kukama-Kukamiria women in rural Loreto. Following a case study approach, sixty semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with recent mothers who experienced childbirth within one year prior to the interview, female relatives of recent mothers who had a role in childbirth, male relatives of recent mothers, community health workers, and traditional healers. We found that for women from these communities, home birth is a courageous act and an intimate (i.e. members of the community and relatives participate in it) and inexpensive practice in comparison with institutional birth. These preferences are also linked to experiences of mistreatment at health facilities, lack of cultural adaptation of birthing services, and access barriers to them. Preparations for home births included handwashing and cleaning delivery surfaces. After birth, waiting for the godparent to arrive to cut the cord can delay drying of the newborn. Discarding of colostrum, lack of skin-to-skin contact as well as a range of responses regarding immediate breastfeeding and immediate drying of the baby were also found. These findings were used to tailor the educational content of the Mamas del Rio program, where community health workers are trained to identify pregnancy early, perform home visits to pregnant women and newborns, and promote essential newborn care practices in case institutional birth is not desired or feasible. We make recommendations to improve Peru's cultural adaptation of birthing services.
Idioma originalEspañol
PublicaciónPLoS ONE
EstadoPublicada - 1 may. 2021

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