Although improving postpartum and neonatal health is a key element of the Ethiopian health extension program, the burdens of postpartum and neonatal illnesses and healthcare-seeking in rural communities in Ethiopia are poorly characterized. Therefore, we aimed to assess the incidence and risk factors for these illnesses and measure the utilization of healthcare services. We conducted a prospective cohort study of 784 postpartum women and their 772 neonates in three randomly selected kebeles in rural southern Ethiopia. Eight home follow-up visits were conducted during the first 42 postpartum days, and six neonate follow-ups were conducted at the same home over the first 28 days of life. The Prentice, Williams, and Peterson’s total time Cox-type survival model was used for analysis. We recorded 31 episodes of postpartum illness per 100 women-weeks (95% confidence interval [CI]: 30%, 32%) and 48 episodes of neonatal illness per 100 neonate-weeks (95% CI: 46%, 50%). Anemia occurred in 19%

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