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The current study is designed to explore the practices, knowledge and attitude towards breastfeeding among postnatal mothers and factors that determine them. This descriptive study was carried out in the Neonatal Division, Department of Pediatrics at a tertiary care hospital in South India during April – July 2009. The data was collected from 100 postnatal mothers by trained interviewers using a structured proforma. In addition to demographic data, mothers were also asked about their knowledge on and attitude towards breastfeeding and the practices they follow. Scoring of the responses to questions was done and the data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The knowledge of the mothers was inadequate in areas of time of initiation of breastfeeding (92%), colustrum feeding (56%), duration of exclusive breastfeeding (38%), knowledge on expressed breastmilk (51%) and continuation of breastfeeding while baby is sick. Better scores corre-lated significantly with higher maternal age, better maternal education, higher socioeconomic status and having received antenatal care from tertiary care centers and private practitioners. There is still a need for programmes, which support and encourage breast-feeding particularly at a primary care level, focusing more on younger, less well-educated women and those from lower socioeconomic class.
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Author(s): Maheswari Ekambaram Vishnu Bhat B Mohamed Asif Padiyath Ahamed
Breastfeeding, postnatal mothers, knowledge, attitude, practice