A study of breast-feeding practices among rural women
Introduction: Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. As per the national family health survey-3 (NFHS-3), only 46% of the Indian infants between 0 and 6 months are exclusively breastfed. Hence the following study was done to know the practice of breastfeeding in mothers of rural and urban areas of India.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in a rural and urban area, which is under the administrative control of a tertiary care hospital. All lactating mothers having babies up to 1 year were included in the study.
Results: The mean age was 26.73 years (SD = 2.53), and 40.4 % of mothers were below 20-24 years of age. A large proportion (77.8%) were of the Hindu faith. Most mothers had education beyond primary school. 35.1% of participants were mothers of 2 or more children. A large percentage (74.7%) of study participants were delivered in a hospital. Exclusive breastfeeding was practiced by 73.1% of mothers. 78.3% of a mother gave first breast milk i.e. colostrum to their new-borns. Still, 46.3% of mothers feed their child with honey, Ghutti, plain water, artificial milk, sugar water, etc., before starting breastfeeding.
Conclusions: The counseling should be continued after the delivery of the baby for continuous education to the mother about the proper care of newborn, initiation of breastfeeding, the information regarding the advantages and duration of breastfeeding, the importance of colostrum feeding, the timing of weaning needs to be provided.
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