Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Scientifica
Volume 2016, Article ID 5430164, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/5430164
Research Article

Perceptions and Practices regarding Breastfeeding among Postnatal Women at a District Tertiary Referral Government Hospital in Southern India

1Department of Pediatrics, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal University, Manipal, India
2Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal University, Manipal, India
3Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal University, Manipal, India

Received 15 December 2015; Revised 4 August 2016; Accepted 29 August 2016

Academic Editor: Daniel Y T Fong

Copyright © 2016 Sowmini P. Kamath et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Breastfeeding is the optimal method for achieving a normal growth and development of the baby. This study aimed to study mothers’ perceptions and practices regarding breastfeeding in Mangalore, India. Methodology. A cross-sectional study of 188 mothers was conducted using a structured proforma. Results. Importance of breast feeding was known to most mothers. While initiation of breast feeding within one hour of birth was done by majority of mothers, few had discarded colostrum and adopted prelacteal feeding. Mothers opined that breast feeding is healthy for their babies (96.3%) and easier than infant feeding (79.8%), does not affect marital relationship (51%), and decreases family expenditure (61.1%). However, there were poor perceptions regarding the advantages of breast milk with respect to nutritive value, immune effect, and disease protection. Few respondents reported discontinuation of breastfeeding in previous child if the baby had fever/cold (6%) or diarrhea (18%) and vomiting (26%). There was a statistically significant association between mother’s educational level and perceived importance of breastfeeding and also between the mode of delivery and initiation of breast feeding (). Conclusion. Importance of breast feeding was known to most mothers. Few perceptions related to breast milk and feeding along with myths and disbeliefs should be rectified by health education.