Maternal factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding of babies at six weeks of age


  • Purnima Samayam Department of Pediatrics, BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Pradeep Krishna Department of Pediatrics, MVJMC and RH, Hoskote, Bangalore, Karnataka, India



Counseling, Infants, Lactation, Mixed feeding


Background: Exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of life has several advantages for babies as well as mothers. However exclusive breastfeeding may not be followed by mothers due to various reasons. The objective of this study was to study the rates of exclusive breastfeeding and mixed feeding in infants at Six weeks of age.

Methods: Prospective observational study. 200 mothers and their healthy full term newborns were included. Exclusive and early breastfeeding was initiated with guidance and support for the mothers during their hospital stay. All mothers were given verbal advice about the need and benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for first six months. Primary outcome: number of mothers giving exclusive breastfeeding or mixed feeding at six weeks postnatal age during the first immunisation visit.

Results: 92.78% mothers were exclusively breastfeeding their babies at 6 weeks of age. 7.22% had started mixed feeding. 96.23% of multipara and 87.84% of primipara were respectively giving exclusive breastfeeding at 6 weeks. The difference was statistically significant (P value 0.0328). Mothers aged 20-35 years (95.65%) were more likely to continue exclusive breastfeeding than those aged<20 years (87.33%), P value 0.0071. Mothers with education of pre-university course and more (92%) were less likely to give exclusive breastfeeding than those with secondary school education and less (98.33%); P value 0.0397.

Conclusions: Young mothers <20 years, primipara, those with higher education were more likely to deviate from exclusive breastfeeding at six weeks postnatal age. These mothers need additional counseling and support to continue exclusive breastfeeding for six months.


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