Traditional Practices for Newborns Care: The North of Jordan Perspective

Mohammad Khassawneh, Yousef Khader, Zouhair Amarin, Sondos Al Sa’d, Ahmed Alkafajei


Objectives: Jordan has witnessed a noticeable increase in women education & employment. A descriptive study of the traditional care practices of mothers for their newborn babies is exhibited here.

Participants: Household Cross- sectional population survey in the north of Jordan was conducted over 1 4-week period in July, 2004. Mothers of children less than five years of age at time of questionnaire were selected using systematic random sampling technique till the required sample of mothers was completed. Main outcome measures: Four common issues were studied including; circumcision, umbilical cord care, swaddling the baby in relation to Developmental Dislocation of the Hip ( DDH) and care of a newborn baby with jaundice. These four issues were studied in relation to level of education and socio-economic status.

Results: Around 90% were circumcised by the age of one year. Circumcision was mainly performed by ritual circumcisers and mainly for religious reasons. For umbilical care, 40% used sulfa powder, 13% used alcohol swabs and 25% used traditional methods such as salty water, cigarette ash and coins. There was no statistical difference in the rate of developmental dislocation of the hip between swaddled and non-swaddled babies. Mothers used home light (37%), sugared water (18%), garlic necklaces (15%) and sun exposure (21%). Only 50% of the mothers realized that jaundice may have future disability effect on babies.

Conclusion: Traditional ways are still common in Jordan. Medical consequences of these practices are not clear and need further studies.


Circumcision, umbilical cord, developmental dislocation of the hip, jaundice, Jordan

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