Breastfeeding Knowledge and Practices in New Delhi, India

  • Priya Shankar Fogarty NIH Fellowship in Global Health, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, New Delhi, India.
  • Stephen R Kodish Pennsylvania State University, Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Biobehavioral Health, College of Health and Human Development, United States.
  • Farah Meraj Khanam WHO Collaborating Centre for Adolescent Health, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital, New Delhi, India.
  • Sheila Isanaka Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, United States.
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Maternal, Child Health, Nutrition, South Asia

Abstract

Introduction: Appropriate breastfeeding practices are important for decreasing low birthweight and infant mortality. Despite significant media and community efforts by various organisations, India continues to have sub-optimal rates of breastfeeding.
Research Aim: This study aimed at describing breastfeeding knowledge and practices in a low-income urban community of Dabri village, New Delhi.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between December 2013 and January 2014 among 157 mothers with children aged 0 through 5 years of age receiving paediatric care at the Dabri Women and Children’s Government Hospital. The participants were asked 21 semi-structured questions to understand breastfeeding knowledge and practices during the first six months of their child’s life.
Results: While awareness and uptake of exclusive breastfeeding in Dabri, New Delhi was high (72.6%), mothers exhibited variability whether feeding their child on-demand or with a routine as well as in terms of duration. Less than half (49.6%) of women breastfed in the first hour of their delivery, with delays in initiation of breastfeeding associated with C-sections and lower educational attainment. Nearly 17% of women reported introducing solid foods or liquids into their child’s diet prior to 6 months of age. Principal channels through which breastfeeding information was received included their mother/ family member (38.9%), doctor (35.0%), as well as television and online media (19%).
Conclusion: Future campaigns to promote breastfeeding should build knowledge of health workers, utilise media-based campaigns, help mothers overcome key barriers to best breastfeeding practices, and introduce tools to support greater maternal self-efficacy for improved practices.

How to cite this article:
Shankar P, Kodish SR, Khanam FM, Isanaka S. Breastfeeding Knowledge and Practices in New Delhi, India. Postgrad J Pediatr Adol Med. 2022;1(1):6-15.

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Published
2022-04-02