Introduction: Breastfeeding is best gift for child from mother. It is safe, adequate to fulfill nutrition in early life, provides with immunity for protection from various diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding is affected due to various cultural practices which exists, or, due to lack of knowledge of mother and other family members, or, because, mother has to return to work and doesn’t have enough maternity leaves or proper feeding area in the workplace. The present study is done to assess knowledge and attitude of ante-natal women towards breastfeeding.
Material and Methods: 120 women who had come for routine ante-natal checkup to DM WIMS hospital, Wayanad, Kerala were included in the present study. A semi-structured questionnaire containing various aspects of breast feeding and basic information of the participants was used to assess the knowledge, attitude and find determinants of breast feeding.
Results: 55.8% participant were in the age group 18-25yrs. The mean age of study participant was 25.4 years. 50% of the participants were nulliparous, 30% primiparous and 20% were multiparous. 43.3% of the study participants knew the importance of breastfeeding and only 37.5% knew about colostrum. 93.3% participants considered breast milk healthier than artificial substitute like formula milk, etc. Majority of participants received information about breastfeeding from media (54%) and doctors (41%). 77% of participants said presence of strangers affect breastfeeding and 56% said crèche should be available at all work places. A significant association was seen between age and breastfeeding (p-value 0.003), and also between, age and knowledge of colostrum (p-value 0.002), in the present study. Association between parity and breastfeeding, and, parity and colostrum was also found to be significant in our study with p-value 0.001 and 0.007 respectively.
Conclusion: In the present we found that, mother’s knowledge and attitude towards breastfeeding was favorable, but, still more efforts are required to reach WHO recommended prevalence of 90%.
Breastfeeding, knowledge, attitude, colostrum