Evaluation of Breast Feeding Practices

Naheed Parveen, Rehana Majeed, Mansoor Ali Khawaja


Background: The best first food for babies is breast milk. This study was conducted to assess the percentage of population having knowledge regarding benefits of breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding and ratio of mothers practicing it.

Material & Methods: This observational study was carried out from January 2008 to June 2008, in the vicinity of Isra University Hyderabad. A sample of 285 women who attended the Gynaecology antenatal clinics, living in the vicinity of Isra University, also lady doctors working there were enrolled by convenient sampling. A pre-designed questionnaire was filled by interviewing these women. The data collected was statistically analyzed and percentages recorded.

Results: Breast feeding was practiced in 278(97.54%) of the study population and only 7(2.45%) women did not practice it. 130(44.56%) of women were knowing about benefits of breast feeding and 155(54.38%) were not aware about the benefits. Among those knowing about the benefits, only 3.2% were fully aware, 67% were feeding for health of babies and 29.8% for prevention from diseases. Information regarding exclusive breast feeding was collected, 198 (68.70%) were practicing it and 87 (31.29%) were not exclusively feeding their babies. Time duration of breast feeding noticed that 28 (9.82%) of mothers feed their child for <6 months but most of women 104 (36.49%) for 2 years and some of them even feed for >2 years.

Conclusion: Breast feeding is well practiced in this community but the ratio of exclusive breast feeding is low. Mothers have poor knowledge of benefits of breast feeding.

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