Knowledge and awareness of breastfeeding, weaning practices and newborn care in pregnant women in urban areas

Sumedha M. Joshi, Mayakalyani Srivathsan, Deepa H. Velankar


Background: Breastfeeding, proper weaning practices, and newborn care play a crucial role in the health of a child. The objective of the study is to determine the availability of information regarding breastfeeding, newborn care and immunization and to find out about the attitude of women towards newborn care practices.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was conducted in a tertiary health care centre in an urban area in Navi Mumbai, on primigravidae in their third trimester of pregnancy. The data was collected by a questionnaire, results were analysed by EpiInfo7.

Results: 93% women knew the benefits of breastfeeding, 92% knew of exclusive breastfeeding. 90% would initiate breastfeeding immediately after delivery, 83% would not give prelacteal feeds. 75% would practise skin-to-skin contact and 95% would practise rooming-in technique. 44% would delay bathing the newborn. 95% women received TT immunisation. All agreed to vaccinate their child. 19% believed traditional practices like applying kajal to eyes, prelacteal feeds etc. to be hazardous.

Conclusions: The knowledge pregnant women have about breastfeeding and newborn care is inadequate. There is a need for intervention measures such as behavior-change-communication and better health services, to equip mothers so they may provide optimal care to their babies.



Breastfeeding, Weaning, Immunisation, Newborn-care, Knowledge

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