Infant feeding practices among mothers in rural Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh
Keywords:Infant feeding practices, Rural areas
Background: Maternal and child under nutrition remain extensive in low and middle-income population groups. Safe delivery practices and adequate nutrition during infancy is essential to ensure health, growth, and development of a child. Early under nutrition has a long-lasting effect on physical and cognitive growth. So it is essential to assess and promote the healthy child feeding & caring practices in the vulnerable groups.
Methods: Community-based cross-sectional study was conducted to enrol 160 mothers of infants by probability proportional to size (PPS) sampling procedure for 5 months in the field practicing areas of GSL Medical College. Primary data was collected through a validated questionnaire with variables of socio-demography, intra-natal, and infant feeding practices. Secondary data was obtained from MCP cards. The analysis was done using SPSS trial version 18, results were expressed as percentages and proportions and Chi-square test was used to assess the association.
Results: Majorities (90%) of the deliveries are institutional and the proportion of low birth weight was found to be 12.5%. Breastfeeding was initiated within 1st hour after delivery among 75.6% infants and 79.1% of the infants of 6-11m were reportedly exclusively breast fed. Working status and literacy status of mother are significantly associated with infant feeding practices.
Conclusions: In spite of many programmes targeted for promoting safe intra natal and infant feeding practices this study finds a relatively high proportion of faulty practices prevalent in rural areas.
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