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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-67

Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding practices among rural women in Tamil Nadu

Department of Community Medicine, Vinayaka Missions Kirupananda Variyar Medical College, Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Shankar Radhakrishnan
Department of Community Medicine, Vinayaka Missions Kirupananda Variyar Medical College, Chinna Seeragapadi, Salem - 636 308, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.101667

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Background: Poor infant feeding practices and their consequences are one of the world's major problems and a serious obstacle to social and economic development. Various studies have shown that infant feeding could be influenced by socioeconomic status, maternal education, place of living and many other factors. Hence a prevalence study on exclusive breastfeeding was conducted in rural Tamil Nadu. Aim and Objective: To assess the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding practices and the factors influencing them among women in a rural area in Tamil Nadu. Materials and Methods: It is a cross-sectional study conducted in Attyampatti Panchyat Union, Salem district, Tamil Nadu, from March 2011-June 2011. All the 291 children in the age group of six months to two years in Attyampatti Panchayat Union were included in the study, irrespective of any sample. The data was analyzed using SPSS package. Results: Among the study population 52.6% were male children and 47.4% were females. Only 99 (34%) children were exclusively breastfed for six months. The majority of women (60.5%) initiated breastfeeding within half an hour after delivery. Various demographic factors like the education of the mother, type of delivery, type of family, occupation, number of children, monthly income, family size, age at marriage and religion had a direct influence on exclusive breastfeeding, which in turn influenced the weight of the baby and immune status of the child. Most of the mothers (44.7%) inferred that the main reason for giving bottle feed is because of inadequate breast milk secretion. Conclusion: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding is low in this particular area. Hence promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and focus on the factors affecting them is highly warranted in this area.

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