KAP STUDY OF FACTORS PROMOTING BREASTFEEDING IN NURSING MOTHERS AND PREGNANT WOMEN
Journal of Health and Allied Sciences NU
Background: Breastfeeding is known to be central in an infant's nutrition and growth worldwide. Fewer mothers offer breast milk in this crucial period due to various misconceptions and cultural beliefs. Our objective was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of breast feeding and identify misconceptions regarding breast feeding practices in suburban south Indian town. Methodology: Observational study conducted in a tertiary teaching hospital of coastal south India. A total of 300
... total of 300 subjects including pregnant and nursing mothers attending the outpatient departments were recruited. Subjects were briefed orally, consent taken and a structured questionnaire administered by a single observer. Mothers who were unable to breast feed due to medical contraindications were excluded. The data was analysed using SPSS software. Univariate and binary regression analyses were performed for associations. Results: Among the subjects 36% had primary education and 12% were graduates. Majority (61%) lived in a joint family. Only 52.3% of the subjects received advice on breastfeeding during antenatal visits, out of which only 19.3% had a breast examination. 58.7% knew that breastfeeding should be initiated within 1 hour of child birth but only 48% of the mothers who had delivered initiated breastfeeding within 1 hour. 71.6% of the mothers knew that exclusive breastfeeding should be practised for 6 months. On univariate analysis mothers with more than 1 child, vaginal delivery and an educated partner had awareness of breastfeeding and practiced healthy breastfeeding. Conclusion: Our study emphasises the need to counsel mothers regarding breastfeeding practices early during antenatal visits and not postpone till after delivery, include the spouse for support, sensitise the health care giver and improve infrastructure for a successful breastfeeding initiation.