Cultural Practices of Rearing Preterm Infants: a Qualitative Study in a Tertiary Care Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Samin Sulaiman*, Ambreen Tharani**, Sharifa Lalani***, Kiran Shaikh****
* Research Scholar, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
**-**** Assistant Professor, Aga Khan University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Karachi Pakistan.
Periodicity:November - January'2017


The research work explores the cultural practices of feeding and hygiene of preterm infants in the Pakistani context. A Qualitative descriptive-exploratory design has been used. Purposive sampling was utilized to recruit 17 mothers, who met inclusion criteria from a largest government tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. The semi-structured interview was used to collect the data, which lasted for approximately 45-60 minutes. Thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the key findings of the study. Welcoming newborn with 'honey' and herbal remedies were reported as a common ritual among mothers. Findings revealed differences in the time period of initial bath given to the preterm, ranges from 3 days to 1 month. These custom variations of rearing preterm have its own meaning in the prescribed culture; however, these customs are the insights to explore more on its effects on infants' health. This study provides useful insights into several practices of cultures, which serve as the determinants of infants' nutrition and health status. It provides an insight to the health care professionals to provide quality care to preterm infants.



Feeding, Hygiene, Preterm, Qualitative.

How to Cite this Article?

Sulaiman, S., Tharani, A., Lalani, S., and Shaikh, K. (2017). Cultural Practices of Rearing Preterm Infants: a Qualitative Study in a Tertiary Care Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan. i-manager’s Journal on Nursing, 6(4), 6-13.


[1]. Adejuyigbe EA, Bee MH, Amare Y, Omotara BA, Iganus RB, Manzi F et al. (2015). “Why not bathe the baby today? A qualitative study of thermal care beliefs and practices in four African sites”. BMC Pediatrics, Vol.15, pp.156-162.
[2]. Ali A and Howden-Chapman P, (2007). “Maternity Services and the Role of the Traditional Birth Attendant, Bidan Kampong, in Rural Malaysia”. Journal of Public Health Management Practice, Vol.13, No.3, pp.278-286.
[3]. American Academy of Pediatrics, (2012). “Policy statement breastfeeding and the use of human milk”. Pediatrics, Vol.129, No.3, pp.e827-e844.
[4]. Beck S, Wojyla D, Say L, Betran AP, Merialdi M, Requejo JH, et al., (2009). “The worldwide incidence of preterm birth: A WHO systemic review of maternal mortality and morbidity”. The Bulletin of World Health Organization, Vol.88, pp.31-38.
[5]. Blencowe H, Cousens S, Oestergaard M, Chou D, Moller AB, et al., (2012). “National, Regional and Worldwide Estimates of Preterm Birth”. The Lancet, Vol.379, No.9832, pp.2162-72.
[6]. Brink PM, (1998). “Exploratory Designs”. In: Brink PJ and Wood MJ (Eds.), Advanced Design in Nursing Research. Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp.308-333.
[7]. Engle WA, Tomashek KM, and Wallman C, (2007). “Late Preterm Infants: A Population at Risk”. Pediatrics, Vol.120, pp.1390-1401.
[8]. Garg R, Deepti S, Padda A, and Singh T, (2010). “Breastfeeding knowledge and Practices among Rural Women of Punjab, India: A Community-Based Study”. Breastfeed Medicine, Vol.5, No.6, pp.303-307.
[9]. Goldenberg RL, Culhane JF, Iams JD, and Romero R, (2008). “Epidemiology and causes of preterm birth”. The Lancet, Vol.37, No.9606, pp.75-84.
[10]. Graneheim, U. H., & Lundman, B. (2004). “Qualitative content analysis in nursing research: Concepts, procedures, and measures to achieve trustworthiness”. Nurse Education Today, Vol.24, pp.105-112.
[11]. Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
[12]. Joseph N, Unnikrishnan B, Naik VA, Mahantshetti NS, Mallapur MD, Kotian SM, and Nelliyanil M, (2013). “Infant Rearing Practices in South India: A Longitudinal Study”. Journal of Family Medicine of Primary Care, Vol.2, No.1, pp.37-43.
[13]. Kair LR, Flaherman VJ, Newby KA, and Colaizy TT, (2015). “The experience of breastfeeding the late preterm infant: Qualitative study”. Breastfeeding Medicine, Vol.10, No.2, pp.102-106.
[14]. Kramer MS, Nemissie K, Yang H, et al., (2000). “The Contribution of Mild and Moderate Preterm Birth to Infant Mortality. Fetal and infant health study group of the Canadian perinatal surveillance system”. JAMA, Vol.284, No.7, pp.843-849.
[15]. Lawn JE, Gravett MG, Nunes TN, Rubens C, and Stanton C, (2010). “Global report on preterm birth and still birth (1 of 7): Definitions, description of the burden, and opportunities to improve data”. BioMed Central Pregnancy and Childbirth, pp.1471-2393.
[16]. Lee SC, Long A, and Boore J, (2009). “Taiwanese women's experiences of becoming a mother to a very low birth weight preterm: A grounded theory study ”. International Journal of Nursing Studies, Vol.46, pp.326- 336.
[17]. Li R, Darling N, Maurice E, Barker L, and Grummer- Strawn LM. (2005). “Breastfeeding Rates in the United States by Characteristics of the Child, Mother, or Family: The 2002 National Immunization Survey”. Pediatrics, Vol.115, No.1, pp.31-37.
[18]. Lincoln,Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
[19]. Memon Y, Sheikh S, Memon A, and Memon N, (2006). “Feeding beliefs and practices of mothers/ caregivers for their infants”. Journal of Liaquat University of Medical Health Sciences, Vol.1, pp.8-13.
[20]. Mohammed SJS, (2014). “Infants feeding and weaning practices among mothers in Northern Kordofan state, Sudan”. European Scientific Journal, Vol.10, No.24, pp.165-181.
[21]. Morse JM, (1994). “Emerging from the data: The cognitive processes of analysis in qualitative inquiry”. In: Morse JM (Ed.), Critical issues in Qualitative Research Methods. Canada: Sage. pp.22-43.
[22]. Natalie M, Ventura M, Colombo M, et al., (2014). “Short-term respiratory outcomes in late preterm infants”. Italian Journal of Pediatric, Vol.40, No.1, pp.52-62.
[23]. Neu M and Robinson J, (2008). “Early Weeks after Premature Birth as Experienced by Latina Adolescent Mother”. Mother and Child Nursing, Vol.33, No.3, pp.32-38.
[24]. Owoo N and Lambon-Quayefio MP, (2013). “National health insurance, and social influence and antenatal care use in Ghana”. Health Economics Review, Vol.3, No.19, pp.1-12.
[25]. Polit DF, Beck CT, and Hungler BP, (2001). Essential of Nursing Research: Methods, Appraisal and Utilization, 5 ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott.
[26]. Polit DF and Beck CT, (2010). Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. Philadelphia: Lippincott.
[27]. Sandelowski M, (2000). “Whatever happened to qualitative description?” Research in Nursing and Health, Vol.23, pp.334-340.
[28]. Sreedevi, B. & Rao, R. N. (2015). “A Longitudinal Study on Feeding Practices and Morbidity Patterns of Infants in a Rural Field Practice Area of Thadikonda, Guntur, AP”. Journal of Nursing and Health Sciences, Vol.4, No.1, pp.36- 39.
[29]. Steinman L, Doescher M, Keppel GA, et al., (2010). “Understanding infant feeding beliefs, practices, and preferred nutrition education and health provider approached: An exploratory study with Somali mothers in USA”. Maternal Child Nutrition, Vol.6, No.1, pp.1-16.
[30]. Sutan, R. & Berkat, S. (2014). “Does cultural practice affects neonatal survival- a case control study among low birth weight babies in Aceh Province, Indonesia”. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Vol.14, No.342, pp.1-13.
[31]. Vohr, B. (2013). “Long-term outcomes of moderately preterm, late preterm, and early term infants”. Clinical Perinatal, Vol.40, pp.739-751.
[32]. World Health Organization (2014). WHA Global Nutrition Targets 2025: Breastfeeding Policy Brief. Retrieved from ding_policybrief.pdf?ua=1&ua=

Purchase Instant Access

Single Article

North Americas,UK,
Middle East,Europe
India Rest of world
Pdf 35 35 200 20
Online 35 35 200 15
Pdf & Online 35 35 400 25

If you have access to this article please login to view the article or kindly login to purchase the article
Options for accessing this content:
  • If you would like institutional access to this content, please recommend the title to your librarian.
    Library Recommendation Form
  • If you already have i-manager's user account: Login above and proceed to purchase the article.
  • New Users: Please register, then proceed to purchase the article.