To assess the effects of new-born care intervention through self-help groups in improving new-born healthcare practices in rural India.
A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate behavioral change intervention integrated in >25,000 microfinance-based self-help groups in rural Bihar. Three rounds of cross-sectional surveys were conducted to understand the impact of intervention on new-born healthcare practices by talking to women who delivered a baby in the last 6 months.
Intervention groups showed greater improvement than control groups in the timely initiation of breastfeeding (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 6.3, 95% CI: 2.8, 14.3), exclusive breastfeeding on day 1 (AOR = 4.3, 95% CI: 1.9, 9.9), initiation of skin-to-skin care (AOR = 1.9, CI: 1.0, 3.8), and delayed bathing (AOR = 2.8, 95% CI: 1.4, 5.9) with greater effect of on home deliveries where clinical care is often absent.
Sharing messages on appropriate new-born practices through self-help groups improve new-born care practices.