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ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
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Research Article

Feeding Practices and Morbidity Pattern of Infants in a Rural Area of Puducherry-A Follow Up Study

Srinivasan Vijayalakshmi*, Rajkumar Patil, Shib Sekhar Datta, Narayan KA and Fredrick Stephen

Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute Pondicherry, India

*Corresponding Author:
Srinivasan Vijayalakshmi
Assistant Professor
Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute Pondicherry, India
Tel: 919788942682
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 26, 2014; Accepted date: August 18, 2014; Published date: August 25, 2014

Citation: Vijayalakshmi S, Patil R, Datta SS, Narayan KA, Stephen F (2014) Feeding Practices and Morbidity Pattern of Infants in a Rural Area of Puducherry-A Follow Up Study. J Community Med Health Educ 4:304. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000304

Copyright: © 2014 Vijayalakshmi S. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

The feeding practices and illness during infancy are of critical importance for the growth and development of children. Though several programmes have been implemented by GOI along with WHO and UNICEF to improve the health status of newborns and infants, child morbidity and mortality rates in rural areas are still higher compared to urban areas in India. Objectives: To study the infant feeding practices, morbidity pattern and care given to infants in a rural area of Puducherry. Methodology: A longitudinal study done in Bahour commune from 1st April 2012 to 31st March 2013. Information regarding background/socio-demographic details, infant feeding practices; and morbidity pattern were recorded in semi-structured questionnaire by house to house visit. Total of 136 infants born during Jan-March 2012 were enrolled. Data were presented as percentages, ratios and Chi-square test was used to find association among variables. p value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The mean age of study infants during each visit was 3, 8 and 12 months respectively. 64.7% mother’s breastfed their infants within an hour after birth and 72% infants were exclusively breastfed till six months and 5.9% newborns were given prelacteal feed. The incidence of fever, diarrhoea and breathing difficulty were 2.9, 2.9 and 1.8 episodes/ child/ year respectively. On average 93% of mothers continued breastfeeding and gave excess oral fluid during an episode of diarrhoea. Morbidity among children was significantly associated with breastfeeding practices with exclusive breastfed children suffered less in the study area (p<0.05). Conclusions: The overall infant feeding pattern and care given during illness was good among mothers. However, Practices like giving pre-lacteal feed; stopping EBF before six months are still practiced in the study area. Therefore, faulty rearing practices need to be addressed to improve the health status of the infants.

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