Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices about Breastfeeding among Urban Lactating Mothers of Ajmer City: A Cross-Sectional Study
Introduction: Breastfeeding is the unique source of nutrition that plays an important role in the growth, development, and survival of infants. Breastfeeding is promoted internationally as the preferred method of feeding of infants up to 6 months and should be continued up to 2 years with the addition of local available home cooked food. Objectives: The objectives of the study were to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of lactating mothers regarding breastfeeding and to correlate the breastfeeding practices with maternal education, socioeconomic status, and gender of the child. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in urban field practice area of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Ajmer. Out of eight Anganwadi Centres, four were randomly selected. A total of 219 lactating mothers were registered at selected Anganwadi Centres. After inclusion and exclusion criteria, 200 sample sizes were taken for study purpose. A semi-structured questionnaire was used for the study. Results: Out of 200 lactating mothers, 141 (70.5%) of mothers received regular antenatal checkup regarding breastfeeding. Majority 139 (69.5%) of mothers had normal vaginal delivery. Eighty (40%) of mothers had initiated first breastfeed within 1 h after normal delivery while 93 (46.5%) initiated within 1–4 h. Pre-lacteal feeds were given by only 51 (25.5%) mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding was given by 113 (56.7%) of mothers. Conclusion: Health-care providers and decision-makers should comprehensively address the issues to improve exclusive breastfeeding practices in the community. Various organizations involve in the promotion of breastfeeding should organize more training programs for health workers to update their knowledge of breastfeed as this constitutes the important method of information and dissemination the need of breastfeeding. Younger generations need to have a reasonable knowledge of breastfeeding and its benefits during adolescence, that is, before childbearing age.
Key words: Knowledge, Attitude, Practices, Breastfeeding
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