Indmedica Home | About Indmedica | Medical Jobs | Advertise On Indmedica
Search Indmedica Web
Indmedica - India's premier medical portal

Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Breast Feeding Practices in an Urban Community of Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai

Author(s): R.N. Kulkarni, S. Anjenaya, R. Gujar

Vol. 29, No. 4 (2004-10 - 2004-12)

Abstract

Objective: To study the Breast feeding practices and the influence of literacy and cultural factors on breast-feeding practices in mothers attending immunisation clinic in an urban community of Navi-Mumbai.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Immunisation clinic, MGM, Kalamboli Hospital.

Study Period: October 2001 - March 2002.

Study Participants: 122 mothers attending immunisation clinic having children up to 2 years of age.

Study variables: Literacy, Time of initiation, Place of delivery.

Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test and percentages.

Results: 44 (36.1%) mothers gave pre-lacteals to their children. 52 (70.2%) practised exclusive breast-feeding and 9(7.4%) started bottle feeds to their babies. 61.3% of literate mothers while 43.7% of illiterate mothers initiated breast-feeding within 6 hours of delivery. The association between introduction of pre-lacteals and place of delivery was found to be statistically significant (p<0.05). Only 1.9% of literate mothers had rejected colostrum as against 25% of illiterate mothers. Conclusion: Undesirable cultural practices such as giving pre-lacteal feeds, rejection of colostrum and late initiation of breast feeding are still prevalent among the mothers, more so among illiterates and these should be discouraged by proper IEC activities.

Key Words: Breast feeding practices

Introduction

Breast Feeding is the first fundamental right of the child. The initiation of breast feeding and the timely introduction of adequate safe and appropriate complementary foods in conjunction with continued breast feeding are of prime importance for the growth, development, health and nutrition of infants and children everywhere. The prevalence of breast feeding in India is still high (99% in rural areas and 96% in urban areas as reported in NFHS, 1992-1993)1. However, there are many cultural practices associated with infant feeding of which certain undesirable practices need to be discouraged. UNICEF and WHO launched Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in 1992 as a part of global effort to protect, promote and support breast feeding. The present study was undertaken to study the Breast feeding practices and the influence of literacy and prevailing cultural factors such as time of initiation of breast feeding, introduction of pre-lacteals and rejection of colostrum.

Material and Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted between October 2001 - March 2002. 122 mothers having children up to 2 years of age attending the immunisation clinic in MGM Hospital, Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai constituted the study subjects. A pretested structured proforma was used to record the observations. The observations were analysed statistically.

Results

122 mothers who were interviewed, were in the age range of 18-32 years with the mean age of 24.36 years; 106 (86.8%) were literate while 16 (13.2%) were illiterate (could not read and write in any language). 48 (39.34%) had their children between 0-4 months of age. 74 (60.65%) had their children between 4 months - 2 years of age. 44 (36.1) mothers gave pre-lacteals to their children. Out of 74 mothers having children between 4 months - 2 years of age, 52 (70.2%) have practised exclusive breast feeding up 4-6 month of age. Only nine (7.4%) mothers started bottle feeds to their babies of these 5 did so before 6 months of age and 4 between 7-12 months of age.

61.3% of literate mothers while 43.7% of illiterate mothers initiated breast feeding within 6 hrs of delivery. Only 15.1% of literate mothers while 31.2% of illiterate mothers initiated breast feeding 24 hrs after delivery.

The association between introduction of pre-lacteals and place of delivery was found to be statistically significant (p<0.05). (Table I) Higher percentage of illiterate mothers (68.7%) had given pre-lacteals to their children as compared to 31.1% of literate mothers. Only 1.9% of literate mothers and rejected colostrum as against 25% of illiterate of mothers.

Table I : Association Between Introduction of Pre-lacteal Feeds and Place of Delivery.

Place of delivery Pre-Lacteals Total
  Yes (%) No (%) No (%)
Home 06 75 02 25.0 08 100
Hospital 38 33.3 76 66.67 114 100
Total 44   78   122  
x2 = 3.96, df = 1, p<0.05)

Out of 80 mothers having children up to 6 m of age, 66 (82.5%) initiated weaning within 6 months. 35 mothers had discontinued breast feeding out of which 4 discontinued before 6 months, 3 between 7-12 months and 28 after 12 months of age.

Discussion

The pre-lacteals given mainly were plain water, jaggery water, honey with water, and sugar water etc. after culturally being advised by elders and relatives. Pre-lacteal feeds interfere with mother's confidence and also with the sucking stimulation and prolactin production. It may also introduce infections and hence it should be discouraged.

116 (95.1%) mothers have fed colostrum to their children which was slightly higher than that reported by Parmar et al2 who reported acceptance of colostrum to be 81.6%. In 74 mothers having children between 4 months to 2 yrs of age exclusive breast-feeding was found to be 70.2% which is slightly higher than that reported by Banappurmath et al3 who reported it to be 60% in their study. In the present study demand feeding was found to be 94.2% which is higher that 84.1% as reported by Bandopadhyay S K et al4 in their study. 61.3% literate mothers were comparatively more aware of the benefits of early breast-feeding. Parmar et al 2 in their study reported that 51.8% of home delivered and 37.2% of institutionally delivered mothers gave pre-lacteal feeds to their children. The higher percentage of non-use of pre-lacteals in institutional deliveries in our study highlights the importance of health education during perinatal period.

Literacy wise distribution of pre-lacteal feeding and rejection of colostrum shows that these practices were more common in illiterate mothers. The main reasons for rejecton of colostrum given by mothers were "it is harmful for the baby", "elders advice" and "it is not digested by the newborn". Thus literacy plays a very vital role in understanding the protective value of colostrum and the dangers of pre-lacteal feeding. The reasons for early discontinuation of breast-feeding (below 6 months) were mainly illness of mother while insufficient milk was the reason given by mothers who discontinued breast-feeding between 7-12 months. In the present study 66 (82.5%) mothers initiated weaning within 6 months of age which is higher than that observed by Gajanan et al5 who reported 17.83% in that age group of their study.

Acknowledgement

We are thankful to Dr. (Col.) O.D. Sharma, Asso. Prof., Dept. of PSM, MGM Medical College, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai for his valuable guidance and support for the study.

References

  1. Ghai OP, Gupta P. Essential Preventive Medicine 1999; Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi : 537.
  2. Parmar VR, M Salaria, B Poddar, K Singh, H Ghotra, Sucharu. KAP regarding Breast Feeding at Chandigarh. Indian J Public Health 2000; Vol. 44: 131-133.
  3. Banappurmath CR, Nagaray MC, Banappurmath S, Kesaree N. Breat Feeding Practices in villages of Central Karnataka. Indian Pediatr; 1996; 336:477-9.
  4. Bandyopadhyay SK, Chaudhary N, Mukopadhyaya BB, Breast Feeding Practices in rural areas of West Bengal. Indian J Public Health, 2000; 44: 137-138.
  5. Gajanan Welhal, Lalitha I, Bhattacharjee G, Kothari A. Nutritional knowledge in relation to Breast and supplementary Feeding Practices in urban slums of Bombay. Swasth Hind; Sept - Oct. 1993: 236-237

Deptt. of PSM, MGM Medical College, Kamothe, Navi Mumbai.
E-mail: [email protected]

Access free medical resources from Wiley-Blackwell now!

About Indmedica - Conditions of Usage - Advertise On Indmedica - Contact Us

Copyright © 2005 Indmedica