Prevalence and Determinants of Exclusive Breast- Feeding: A cross sectional study among Mother-Infant pairs attending the Immunization Clinic in a Teaching Hospital at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Introduction: Breast milk is the ideal food for the babies and WHO recommends exclusive breast feeding (EBF) for 6 months in view of its protective effects on both mother and baby. The present study aimed to find out the prevalence, factors promoting and barriers for the practice of EBF.
Methods: A cross sectional survey design was used for the study. Sample consisted of 118 mother infant pairs attending an immunization clinic of a tertiary level hospital.
Results: Prevalence of EBF up to 6 months was 48.3%. Associated factors were antenatal check up at private hospital (OR=2.2,95%CI=1-4.9), urban residence (OR=2.95%CI=1-4.1), presence of knowledge regarding EBF(OR=2.5,95%CI=1.1-5.8) previous breast feeding experience (OR=2.4,95% CI=1.2-5.1) and term delivery (OR=3.6,95%CI=1.1-11.8). Perception of inadequate breast milk secretion and mother returning to job were the reasons for early cessation of EBF.
Conclusion: Breast-feeding classes during antenatal visits, lactation counseling, and enhancement of duration of maternity leave are the recommendations that can be forwarded on the light of the present study.
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