A Study on Knowledge Attitude and Practices of Postnatal Mothers about Breastfeeding and related Problems in Newborns
Introduction: Early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age and later continuation of breastfeeding up to 2 yrs is an essential component of infant’s nutrition. Breastfeeding rates are far less in India owing to poor knowledge, misconceptions and local socio-cultural practices. Knowledge, attitude and practices studies regarding breastfeeding among mothers in India are limited. The present study can be a means to assess the above domains and to modify the practices towards a positive change.
Methods: This is a cross sectional study carried out on postnatal mothers over a period of 3 months using a semi- structured questionnaire. Data analysis is done by descriptive statistics like percentages of positive and negative responses using Microsoft Excel.
Results: Around 48% of the participant mothers know that exclusive breastfeeding needs to be given up to an age of 6 months and 46.6% members have the knowledge that breastfeeding should be continued up to 2yrs of age along with complimentary foods. Around 61.8% of the felt that formula fed babies are more healthy than breastfed ones. Around 22.8% of them were giving formula milk in addition to breast feeding. A very low (4.2%) number of them did not give breastfeeding at all.
Conclusion: Our current study reflects that there are some gaps in the knowledge and need for modification of some attitudes and practices with regard to breastfeeding and related practices but improvement observed compared to past studies. Overall there is a need to further strengthen the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
Keywords: Breastfeeding, knowledge, attitudes, practices
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