Prevalence and determinants of exclusive breastfeeding among urban mothers of Central Kerala

Ajith Raveendran, Jose Joseph, Manjula V. D., Sobha A.


Background: Breastfeeding is accepted as the natural form of infant feeding. The world health organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants for first six months of age. The primary objective of the present study is to estimate the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding and the secondary objectives were to identify factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among all mother infant pairs of 6-12 months age enlisted in the updated MCH register of KMCH center, Ettumanoor. Data was collected using a semi structured interview schedule. Factors related to exclusive breastfeeding were analysed by bivariate and multivariate analysis using SPSS version19.0.

Results: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was 21.9% with a median duration of four months. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that maternal education, working mother, advice on exclusive breast feeding during antenatal visits and length of breast-feeding session were independently associated with exclusive breastfeeding. Inadequacy of breast milk was the major reason for non-exclusive breastfeeding.

Conclusions: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding is low in this particular area. Hence promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and focus on factors affecting them is highly warranted in this area.


Determinants, Exclusive breastfeeding, Kerala, Prevalence

Full Text:



WHO. Breastfeeding. WHO. Available at: Accessed 10 November 2019.

Clark SG, Bungum TJ. The Benefits of Breastfeeding: An introduction for Health Educators. California J Health Promotion. 2003;1(3):158-63.

Rathaur VK, Pathania M, Pannu C, Jain A, Dhar M, Pathania N, et al. Prevalent infant feeding practices among the mothers presenting at a tertiary care hospital in Garhwal Himalayan region, Uttarakhand, India. J Family Med Prim Care. 2018;7(1):45-52.

WHO. Exclusive breastfeeding for optimal growth, development and health of infants. Available at: Accessed 10 November 2019.

Healthy States. Progressive India; Report on the Ranks of States and Union Territories. NITI Aayog; Ministry of Health and Family Welfare India; 2019. Available at: Accessed 10 November 2019.

National family heath survey 4. Available at: Accessed 10 November 2019.

Binu A, Tony L, Jose J, Ajan MJ, Ajith R. Prevalence of malnutrition among under five children in a semi urban area in Kottayam, Kerala. J Evol Med Dent Sci. 2014;3(24):6762-71.

Scherbaum V, Srour ML. The role of breastfeeding in the prevention of childhood malnutrition. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2016;115:82-97.

International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ICF. District Level Household and Facility survey -3. State Fact Sheet Kerala; 2007:3-4.

Wani R. Socioeconomic status scales-modified Kuppuswamy and Udai Pareekh’s scale updated for 2019. J Family Med Primary Care. 2019;8(6):1846.

Sreeja M. Mothers’ awareness, attitudes and practices related to exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of infancy. A community based study in Chittur taluk, Palakkad district. SCTIMST; 2016. Available at: handle/123456789/10783. Accessed 10 November 2019.

International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and ICF. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), India, 2015-16: Kerala. 2018, Available at: Accessed 10 November 2019.

Radhakrishnan S, Balamuruga Ss. Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding practices among rural women in Tamil Nadu. Int J Health Allied Sci. 2012;1(2):64.

Patil Sapna S, Hasamnis Ameya A, Pathare Rooma S, Aarti P, Rashid AK, Narayan KA. Prevalence of exclusive breast feeding and its correlates in an urban slum in Western India. IeJSME. 2009;3(2):14-8.

Chudasama RK, Patel PC, Kavishwar AB. Determinants of exclusive breastfeeding in South Gujarat Region of India. J Clin Med Res. 2009;1(2):102-8.

Deepanjan Ray, Rahaman A, Dasgupta A. Breastfeeding knowledge among antenatal mothers: a cross sectional study in a rural area of West Bengal. IOSR-JDMS. 2015;14(5):93-7.

Saki A, Eshraghian MR, Tabesh H. Patterns of daily duration and frequency of breastfeeding among exclusively breastfed infants in shiraz, Iran, a 6-month follow-up study using Bayesian generalized linear mixed models. Glob J Health Sci. 2013;5(2):123-33.

Ilknur G. Antenatal care and breastfeeding care and breastfeeding. TJFMPC. 2018. Available at: Accessed 10 November 2019.

Vafaee A, Khabazkhoob M, Moradi A, Najafpoor AA. Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life and its determinant factors on the referring children to the health centers in Mashhad, Northeast of Iran-2007. J Applied Sci. 2010;10:343-8.

Roshan R, Sajjad S, Tanvir S. Impact of maternal education and source of knowledge on breast feeding practices in Rawalpindi city. MOJ Curr Res Rev. 2018;1(5):212-4.

Setegn T, Belachew T, Gerbaba M, Deribe K, Deribew A, Biadgilign S. Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding practices among mothers in Goba district, south east Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. Inter Breastfeed J. 2012;7(1):17.

Al-Ruzaihan SA, Al-Ghanim AA, Bu-Haimed BM, Al-Rajeh HK, Al-Subaiee WR, Al-Rowished FH, et al. Effect of maternal occupation on breast feeding among females in Al-Hassa, Southeastern region of KSA. J Taibah University Med Sci. 2017;12(3):235-40.