Study of Infant Feeding Practices in Rural Area in Goa

  • Mungi Akshay Bambolim, Goa
  • Vanita Pinto Silva Bambolim, Goa, India
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Infant and young child feeding practices, Weaning


Background: Suboptimal feeding practices during the infancy increase the risk of death, illness, and malnutrition. Despite overwhelming evidence of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, only about 40% babies under 6 months are exclusively breastfed, due to the lack of understanding of optimal feeding practices and lack of support from health service providers, community members, and families; babies who are not exclusively breastfed in the early months have a higher risk of death, especially from infection. The Lancet’s 2003 child survival series identified that exclusive breastfeeding could save up to 1.3 million children worldwide. This essential intervention involves the early initiation of breastfeeding and ensuring that the mother gives only breastmilk and no other food or fluids during the first 6 months of life. Undernutrition of children is an important contributor to the deaths of 10.5 million children globally each year.
Aims and Objectives: The present study seeks to estimate the proportion of mothers carrying out age-appropriate infant feeding practices. Besides, the present study was conducted to study factors associated with infant feeding practices and reasons preventing exclusive breastfeeding in infants.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted in the field practice area of Rural Health and Training Centre, Mandur, Goa, from February 2019 to August 2019. Recruitment of study population was done by a systematic random sampling method and study population comprised of mothers with infants between 9 months and 1 year. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data in a face to face interview with the mother.
Results: In the present study, 150 infants aged 9 months to 1 year were recruited. It was observed that exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months was carried out in 94 infants (62.66%). Early initiation of breastfeeding was carried out in 37 infants (24.7%). Weaning of infants by 6 months was started in 72 infants (48.18%). Exclusive breastfeeding of infants was found to be statistically significantly associated with mother’s occupation (≥2 = 27.152; P = 0.00019), religion (≥2 = 12.19; P = 0.015), and age (≥2 = 25.4; P = 0.0002).
Conclusions: Suboptimal feeding practices during the infancy increase the risk of death, illness, and malnutrition. It is imperative to educate mothers on infant and young child feeding practices and create awareness within communities to achieve optimal growth and development of infants.

Author Biographies

Mungi Akshay, Bambolim, Goa

1Junior Resident, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College,

Vanita Pinto Silva, Bambolim, Goa, India

2Associate Professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Goa Medical College, 


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Akshay and Vanita: Infant Feeding Practices
63 International Journal of Scientific Study | June 2020 | Vol 8 | Issue 3
How to cite this article: Akshay M, Silva VP. Study of Infant Feeding Practices in Rural Area in Goa. Int J Sci Stud 2020;8(3):59-63.
Source of Support: Nil, Conflicts of Interest: None declared.
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