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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015, 3(4A), 49-52
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-3-4A-10
Open AccessResearch Article

An Assessment on Breastfeeding and Weaning Practices in Odisha, India

Anindita Maiti1, , Lisa Sarangi1, Saroj Kumar Sahu1 and Soumya Sucharita Mohanty1

1Department of Community Medicine, Hi-Tech Medical College & Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Pub. Date: June 16, 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)

Cite this paper:
Anindita Maiti, Lisa Sarangi, Saroj Kumar Sahu and Soumya Sucharita Mohanty. An Assessment on Breastfeeding and Weaning Practices in Odisha, India. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015; 3(4A):49-52. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-3-4A-10


The World Health Organization recommends the practice of exclusive breastfeeding of infants for the first 6 months after birth. Breastfeeding, the simplest, healthiest and least expensive feeding method that fulfills the infant’s needs for nutrition and growth and it also reduces child morbidity and mortality. Although breastfeeding is a common practice in India, several factors like some cultural beliefs and misconceptions etc. affect poor breast feeding practices. Most of the people do not properly understand the importance of the knowledge about breastfeeding how it should be given, the timings, duration, correct techniques and appropriate time of weaning mother’s milk. The study was taken up to assess the knowledge, attitude and actual practices of breastfeeding in the mothers of children less than 2 years of age who attended the Immunization clinic. This was a Observational (Cross-sectional) study at Immunization clinic of Hi-Tech Medical College &Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha for 3 months period. 286 mothers who visited the immunization clinic whose children were less than 2 years of age were part of the cohort. Predesigned and pretested questionnaire were used to interview the mothers. The data were analyzed in percentile. Knowledge of initiation of breastfeeding within half an hour to one hour of birth was there in 52.78% mothers And 40% had an idea about the importance of colostrum. The meaning of Exclusive breastfeeding was known to 34.97% while almost 48% mothers initiated breastfeeding within half an hour of birth, 75% fed colostrum to their newborns, 61% were practicing exclusive breastfeeding for first 6 months and 90% were practicing night feeds. Inappropriate attachment and positioning was observed in 55% of mothers. Only 15% started weaning (supplementary feeding) after 6 months of baby’s age. To give prelacteal feeds, non initiation of breastfeeding soon after birth, giving supplementary foods (Weaning) earlier and avoid exclusive breastfeeding are some of the cultural practices still prevalent in many areas and societies. The study showed that the mothers lacked knowledge regarding breastfeeding practices which could be imparted early during antenatal visits to the mothers and their spouses for support, sensitizing the health care givers and improving infrastructure for a successful breastfeeding initiation.

Exclusive Breastfeeding Colostrum Supplementary Feeding India.

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