Study of breastfeeding practices in coastal region of South India: a cross sectional study

Swetha R., J. Ravikumar ., R. Nageswara Rao


Background: Breastfeeding has many health and developmental advantages for infants and mothers. Breast feeding promotion is a significant child survival strategy. Interventions to improve early and correct infant feeding practices can result in considerable reduction in infant morbidity and mortality. Objectives of current study were: 1) To study the breast feeding practices. 2) To determine the factors affecting the breast feeding practices.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Vijayawada city, one of the major city in coastal Andhra Pradesh from a period of June 2010 to May 2011. Among 109 slums and 59 wards, 10 slums and 10 wards were selected randomly by lottery method. Mothers of child less than 24 months were included in the study.

Results: Among 304 babies 58.22% received pre lacteal feeds. Sugar water (33.33%) and Honey (32.78%) were the most common type of pre lacteal feed given. Only 40.46% of the mothers initiated breast feeding within one hour of the delivery. Maternal surgery was the most common reason for delay in initiation in 27.62% of the mothers. Colostrum was discarded by 28.29% of the mothers and 62.33% of the mothers practiced exclusive breast feeding. Almost 30.26% of the mothers had given artificial feeding. Insufficient milk was the major reason for starting artificial feeding in 44.57% of mothers.

Conclusion: Present study showed better indicators compared to national level data but still, needs increased efforts to improve the infant feeding practices to attain millennium development goals. 


Prelacteal feeds, Breastfeeding, Colostrum

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