National Journal of Community Medicine

Original Article

Year: 2012 | Volume: 3 | Issue: 3 | Page No: 534-537

Determinants of Breast Feeding Practices in Urban Slums of a Taluka Headquarter of District Anand, Gujarat

Author: Varshney Amit M, Kumar Dinesh, Patel Mahendra, Singh Uday S



Introduction: Medical and public health experts advocate breastfeeding as the best method of feeding young infants for a wide variety of reasons. Increasing urbanization and rising slum population is a ground reality even in the smaller towns of developing world. There are reports of improper child feeding practices in urban slums. The present study was undertaken to understand the determinants of breast feeding practices in urban slums of a small town (taluka head quarter, tire-IV) in district Anand of Gujarat state. Methodology: A cross sectional study was conducted in the field practice area of Urban Health Training Centre of Pramukhswami Medical College. Out of six served areas two were selected by using simple random sampling. After taking consent, the mothers of all children between the ages of 0-2 years were interviewed using pretested questionnaire. Results: Of the 75 mothers interviewed 4(5%) did not have any antenatal checkups (ANC) and 73 (97.3%) had institutional deliveries. Of the 71 mothers who had ANC only 28(39.4%) were counselled about breastfeeding. Prevalence of pre-lacteal feeding, exclusive breast feeding (EBF) and bottle feeding was 17(22.7%), 37(46.7%) and 10(13.3%) respectively. Maternal education beyond 7th grade and antenatal counselling about breastfeeding were associated with increased EBF and decreased pre-lacteal feeds. Conclusions: Breast feeding practices though better than national average was far from satisfactory. Female literacy continues to be an important factor in child rearing practices. The breast feeding counselling services need great deal of improvement in all healthcare settings.

Keywords: Antenatal breastfeeding counselling, Breastfeeding practices, Maternal education, Urban slums