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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60

Breastfeeding awareness and perception among antenatal mothers: A cross-sectional study in urban slum population of Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Department of Community Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ipsa Mohapatra
Department of Community Medicine, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, KIIT University, Patia, Bhubaneswar, Odisha - 751 024
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_98_17

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Introduction: Breast milk provides nutritional, immunological, behavioral, and economic benefits and helps to build mother-infant bonding. Antenatal mothers need to be sufficiently aware about the benefits of breastfeeding. Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess the awareness and perception of breastfeeding among antenatal mothers and to find out any association between sociodemographic factors and breastfeeding awareness. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 250 antenatal women residing in the urban slums of field-practice area of urban health and training center; using a predesigned, pretested, semi-structured interview schedule. Antenatal checkup followed by one to one counseling for the women regarding breastfeeding was provided. Data were represented by frequencies, proportions, and associations using Chi-square, and the P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Most (55.6%) of the women were in the age group of 18–24 years. The mean age at marriage was 19.2 ± 2.5 years. 81.2% of them were Hindus, 13.2% had adequate, 49.6% had moderately adequate, whereas 37.2% women had inadequate awareness about breastfeeding. About 100% intended to breastfeed their children, but only 64% said that they intended to exclusively breastfeed. 66.4% knew about the importance of colostrum. Age-group, religion, literacy, occupation, type of family, gravida, and number of antenatal visits showed highly significant (P < 0.001) association with awareness of breastfeeding. Conclusion: Nearly one-third of the antenatal mothers lacked awareness on breastfeeding practices. Although all intended to breastfeed, still only 64% knew about exclusive breastfeeding. These gaps need to be addressed by awareness generation activities during antenatal counseling.

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