Prospective study to assess knowledge, attitude and breast-feeding practices of post-natal mothers in Punjab, India


  • Preeti Malhotra Department of Pediatrics, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
  • Supriya Malik Department of Pediatrics, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India
  • Navneet Virk Department of Pediatrics, SGRD Medical College, Amritsar, Punjab, India



Breastfeeding, Complimentary, Exclusive, Knowledge


Background: According to World Health Organization WHO (2009), ‘Exclusive breastfeeding means that an infant receives only breast milk from his or her mother, or expressed breast milk and no other liquids or solids, not even water, with exception of oral rehydration solutions, drops consisting of vitamins, minerals supplements or medicines if required’. In India, breastfeeding appears to be influenced by social, cultural and economic factors. In 1991, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) was formed to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. Further, the government of India has undertaken National Rural Health Mission, which intends to implement Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) through the existing healthcare delivery system. Poor practices and attitudes towards breastfeeding have been reported as major reason for poor health outcomes in developing nations.

Methods:Present study is a prospective study carried out among postnatal mothers, attending OPD’s and immunization clinic, Department of Paediatrics at Sri Guru Ramdas Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Amritsar from February 2016 till March 2017 over period of 13 months. Total of 1000 mothers were included who met with the inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria of study were mother of healthy baby (baby weight more than 2.5 kgs), baby without any congenital defect and baby born between 37 to 42 weeks of gestation.

Results: The sample of the present study comprised of postpartum mothers (N=1000), among whom 35% (n=350) belonged to 22-25-year age group and only 12.8% (128) were above age group of 31 years. Among total 1000 subjects 28% (n=28) were illiterate. 65.3% (n=653) of the mother were living in the joint family in contrast to 34.5% were having nuclear family. Among total subjects (n=1000) 18.2% were working mothers and rest 81.8% were housewives. 76.4% belonged to rural area and 23.6% to urban area. 60.4% were primigravida and 39.6% were multigravida. Among total subjects 56% delivered normally and 44% by LSCS. In present study, majority of the mothers had prior knowledge regarding importance of colostrum, the first breast milk to baby, i.e 71.8% where as 28.2% were not aware of it. 82% mothers in current study had knowledge about importance of breastfeeding while rest 18 said breastfeeding was not important.

Conclusions: The present study concludes that mothers have an average knowledge about breastfeeding and poor breastfeeding practices were followed, thus, it is important to educate mother and families regarding breastfeeding and its importance, we need to strengthen public health education system to promote breastfeeding. Further focus on various factors which play important role in promotion and practices of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding can lead to successful implementation of policies and programmes and in turn help in raising and nurturing a healthy child, a healthy youth for the nation. 


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