Assessment of breastfeeding practices in lactating mothers: more road to cover
Keywords:Breastfeeding knowledge, Hospital practices, Initiation of breastfeeding, Socio-demography
Background: The mother’s milk is the best gift nature has provided. It is complete nourishment for babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, followed by breastfeeding along with complementary foods for up to two years of age or beyond. Absence of remarkable progress in indicators of breastfeeding suggest that certain gaps still exist which restrict achievement of national development goals. These gaps could have resulted from unawareness and lack of knowledge regarding appropriate IYCF practices. Appropriate intervention in terms of awareness programmes may help in achieving the national development goals.
Methods: A cross sectional hospital based study was conducted over a period of 3 months. Lactating mothers in post natal ward were questioned using self-administered breastfeeding knowledge questionnaire about their knowledge, attitude and practices of breastfeeding.
Results: Total of 100 lactating mothers were enrolled. Majority of the mothers were in the age group of 20-25 years (72%), 65% of mothers were from rural area. only 27% mothers practiced initiation of breastfeeding after birth. 62% of mothers initiated breastfeeding after 30 minutes of birth. 10% mothers gave prelacteal feeds, honey was the most commonly given prelacteal feed. 90% of the mothers fed their baby colostrum. 90% of mothers knew that breast milk is ideal feed for newborn.
Conclusions: The primary care givers need to implement strategies to educate mothers about breastfeeding in antenatal and post natal checkups to enhance good breastfeeding practice thereby reducing infant mortality and morbidity. A special strategy to reach out to poor socio economic status and illiterate mothers is need of the hour.
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