Knowledge, attitude and practices regarding breastfeeding and infant milk substitutes among mothers of upper middle-class society in a baby friendly hospital initiative accredited hospital of New Delhi, India


  • Maansi Gangwal Department of Paediatrics, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  • Bindu T. Nair Department of Paediatrics, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
  • Varun Kumar Singh Department of Paediatrics, Army College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India



Baby friendly hospital initiative, Breast feeding, Infant milk substitutes, Knowledge, Practice


Background: Exclusive breastfeeding is considered a major public health intervention to promote both child and maternal health. Introduction and awareness of infant milk substitutes among mothers appear as a threat to this important practice.

Methods: The study is an observational cross-sectional study using a questionnaire containing socio-demographic variables. The study was conducted among 300 mothers who reported to immunization clinic and paediatrics OPD of a BFHI accredited hospital in Delhi. Data collected in the study has been analysed using SPSS version 21.0 and MS-Excel. Student ‘t’ test for quantitative variables and ‘chi square test’ for categorical variable have been used for statistical significance. p-value <0.05 was considered to be significant.

Results: In this study 78.7% mothers intended to breastfeed. 71.3% knew that breastfeeding should be continued up to 2 years and 96.3% knew exclusive breastfeed should be given till 6months. Major source of knowledge were doctors and elders of society. However, 49.6% mothers started breastmilk substitutes before 6 months of age. Major causes that appeared as barriers against exclusive breastfeeding were insufficient quantity of milk (23.4%), child refusal (61%) and maternal health problems (15.6%).

Conclusions: Despite good knowledge about breastfeeding among upper middle-class mothers, practice of exclusive breastfeeding remains suboptimal. There is a need for more reinforcement upon importance of breastfeeding, its benefits for both mother and baby so as to foster the practice.


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Original Research Articles