Trends in Breast Feeding Practices among Mothers at a Tertiary Care Institute
Introduction: Breastfeeding is a natural and traditional infant feeding practice throughout the world. Appropriate feeding is
crucial for healthy growth and development. Hence, a study of infant feeding practice that is prevalent is essential to outline
trends of feeding practices before the formulation of any need-based program.
Aims and Objectives: The objectives of the study were to study the knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding breastfeeding,
its correlation with maternal factors and about the introduction of other milk and weaning foods.
Materials and Methods: Mothers of 500 infants and toddlers of ages 3 days to 3 years who were attending GRH, Madurai,
were included and provided with a standard questionnaire and results analyzed. Duration of the study was 1 year.
Results: In this study of 500 cases, 40% received antenatal advice. 12.6% mothers breastfed within 1 h while 34.2% breastfed
in <6 h. 55.1% of the normally deliveredmothers and 4.1% of the cesarean sectioned mothers started breastfeeding within 6
h. 55.2% mothers administered prelacteal feds to their infants while 44.8% did not. 3/4th expressed their milk when the baby is
in NICU. Top feeds started by 63.5% by 4 months, 51% started bottle feeding by 3 months. Early weaning started by 10.54%
before 3 months of age mean duration of breastfeeding was 15 months. No correlation was found between the age, parity,
nutritional status and family income of the mothers, and breastfeeding practices. A significant correlation was found with the
employment status of the mothers.
Conclusion: Majority of mothers had good knowledge of the technique of breastfeeding, and only 4.6% did not show any
response. Employment was one of the reasons for the early introduction of bottle feeds. Expression of breast milk is not practiced
in this category of mothers due to lack of knowledge regarding the procedure.
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