Published: 2021-08-23

Knowledge and attitude towards exclusive breast feeding among postnatal mothers in a tertiary care teaching hospital-an institution based cross sectional study

Revathi V.


Background: Exclusive breast feeding (EBF) is termed as an optimal strategy for feeding newborns and as per WHO   should start within the first one hour of delivery and must continue up to 6 months of infant’s age, as the only source of nutrition and fluids for babies at that age. Unfortunately, a report estimated in 2012 that, only 35% of infants were exclusively breastfed globally. This stresses the need to educate and motivate mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life.

Methods:  Knowledge and attitude towards EBF, of postnatal mothers admitted to a tertiary care teaching hospital was assessed using a self-administered questionnaire and their responses analysed using statistics software.

Results: From our study we found that, based on knowledge score, 88 (69.8%) of the respondents had good knowledge and 38 (30.2%) of the study participants were categorized as having poor knowledge. Based on the attitudinal score, 17 (14%) of the study participants were categorized as having negative attitude towards EBF and 108 (86%) were categorized as having positive attitude towards EBF.

 Conclusions: Health care providers working in the areas of maternal and child health (MCH), should evaluate mothers’ knowledge and attitude for EBF, every visit by asking questions related to EBF. IEC activities related to EBF should be promoted to disseminate knowledge regarding EBF. Breast feeding support groups should be established to help motivate mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies for the first six months of life.



EBF, Lactation, Breastmilk, Colostrum

Full Text:



UNICEF: Progress of children-exclusive breast Feeding: a report card on nutrition. 2006. Available at: Accessed on 20 March 2021

World health organization hubj (WHO), Exclusive breast feeding. Available at: Accessed on 5 Jan 2021.

WHO, The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: report of an expert consultation. Geneva: World Health Organization, Department of nutrition for health and development and department of child and adolescent health and development. 2011. Available at: Accessed on 10 March 2021.

Imdad A, Yakoob MY, Bhutta ZA. Effect of breastfeeding promotion interventions on breastfeeding rates, with special focus on developing countries. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:S24.

Heymann J, Raub A, Earle A. Breastfeeding policy: a globally comparative analysis. Bull World Health Organization. 2013;91(6):398-406.

Tadele N, Habta F, Akmel D. Knowledge, attitude and practice towards exclusive breastfeeding among lactating mothers in Mizan Aman town, Southwestern Ethiopia: descriptive cross-sectional study. Int Breastfeed J. 2016;11:3.

Ayed. Knowledge, attitude and practice regarding exclusive breastfeeding among mothers attending primary health care centers in Abha city. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2014;3(11):1355.

Oche M, Umer A, Ahmed H. Knowledge, practice of exclusive breast feeding in Kware, Nigeria: a cross sectional study involving women of child bearing age. Afr health sci. 2011;11(3):518-23.

Essien NC, Samson-Akpan PE, Ndebbio TJ, John ME. Mothers' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices concerning exclusive breastfeeding in Calabar, Nigeria. Afr J Nursing Midwifery. 2009;11(1):65-75.

Wolde T. Knowledge, attitude and practice amongst lactating mothers in Bedele town, southwestern Ethiopia: descriptive cross-sectional study. Researcher. 2014;6(1):91-7.

Maiti L, Sarangi, Sahu SK, Sarangi L, Mohanty SS. an assessment on breastfeeding and weaning practices in Odisha. Am J Public Health Res. 2015;4a:49-52.

Mbwana. Exclusive breast feeding: mothers’ awareness and heath care providers practice during antenatal visits in Mvomero. Int J nutrition metabolism. 2013;5(3):40-49.

Seifu W, Assefa G, Egata G. Prevalence of exclusive breast feeding and its predictors among infants aged six months in Jimma Town, Southwest Ethiopia, 2013. J Pediatr Neonatal Care. 2014;1(3):4-6.

Alamirew MW, Bayu NH, Tebeje NB, Kassa SF. Knowledge and Attitude towards Exclusive Breast Feeding among Mothers Attending Antenatal and Immunization Clinic at Dabat Health Center, Northwest Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Institution Based Study. Nursing Res Practice. 2017;6561028:9.