Study of breastfeeding practices among working women attending a tertiary care hospital, Mysore, Karnataka, India
Keywords:Working women, Pre-lacteal feeds, Breastfeeding initiation, Exclusive breastfeeding
Background: Breast milk is considered to be the best milk for infants. It is well suited for the needs of infants. Breastfeeding plays a very important role in determining the growth and development of the infant. Factors in breast milk protect infants from a wide variety of illnesses. Children who have been breastfed have less risk of becoming overweight or obese, even as adults. Keeping in mind women’s empowerment, increased women workforce in India, this study was conducted with the objective of assessing breast feeding practices among working women. An attempt is being made to describe the factors influencing breastfeeding practices among working women. The objective of this study was to assess the breastfeeding practices among working women. And to assess the factors influencing breastfeeding practices among working women.
Methods:The present study is a hospital based cross-sectional comparative study. Study participants were working mothers of the children aged between 13-24 months, attending the immunization centre of the paediatric medicine department in JSS Hospital, Mysuru, Karnataka, India for a period of one year from January 2014 to December 2014. The sampling technique used was convenient sampling. All the working mothers attending the immunization centre were interviewed, a total of 107 working mothers were interviewed in a period of one year. The main reason was found to be the employment status of the mothers.
Results: Majority of the study subjects (54.2%) were found to be below 25 years of age. 29% of the mothers had given pre-lacteal feeds to their children. 42.1% of the working women had initiated breastfeeding within one hour of birth. Majority of the women (97.2%) had fed the children with colostrum. 15.9% of the working women had exclusively breastfed their children for six months.
Conclusions:The breastfeeding initiation rate and exclusive breastfeeding rate among working women are much lower when compared to the NFHS-3 findings. The main reason for lowered rate was found to be the employment status of mothers.
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