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Home » Recent Articles » Knowledge and practices about breast feeding among mothers – A hospital-based study in Puducherry

Knowledge and practices about breast feeding among mothers – A hospital-based study in Puducherry

Background: Good breastfeeding knowledge and practice is important for adequate immunity, growth and development of a child along with benefits to the mother. Various socio-cultural factors influence the practice of breastfeeding across region, hence it is important to assess and improve the knowledge and practice of the same. Objective: To determine the knowledge and practices related to breast feeding and their association with socio-demographic factors. Materials and Methods: A facility based cross sectional study was conducted at Pediatric department of Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Puducherry for two months from 1st August 2016 to 30th September 2016. All eligible mothers who visited the Pediatric department during the two months period were included in the study and were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Results: 61.2% had knowledge that breastfeeding should be initiated within one hour of birth and 76% knew about colostrum. Majority (91%) knew about the proper duration of exclusive breast feeding while 70.2% knew that breastfeeding should be given to child even during mother’s common illness. Total 90% of mothers were aware of at least one benefit offered by breast feeding to the child and 36% mothers were aware of at least one benefit to mother. About 97% mothers breast fed their child, of which 64.6% mothers did proper exclusive breastfeeding. Among 238 mothers who practiced breastfeeding, 42.4% mothers practiced on-demand feeding. Knowledge about initiation of breast feeding was significantly higher in those who were more than 25 years of age while knowledge about colostrum was significantly higher among women who were educated up to at least high school or above. Conclusion: The findings revealed that majority of mothers have good knowledge and practice of breastfeeding. Since education level of mother and age were found to be associated with some knowledge components, health education regarding breast feeding is highly recommended.

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