Breastfeeding Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of New-Mothers Presenting in Obstetrical Out-Patient Department
Background: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) with colostrum feeding improves the survival of the newborns. This varies with the time of initiation of breast-feeding, its duration and the age of weaning. Knowledge of breast feeding, attitude of mothers and their practices varies with many factors among populations. Objective: (1) To determine the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding practice among mothers of infants 0–6 months of age presenting in obstetrical out-patient department. (2) To assess the level of knowledge, attitude and practices of new-mothers regarding breastfeeding presenting in obstetrical out-patient department. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Settings: Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faisalabad Medical University, Faisalabad Pakistan. Duration: One month from August 01, 2020. Methodology: All new mothers of healthy infants 0–6 months old born between 37 and 42 gestation weeks attending the obstetrics OPD were included in the study. A detailed history was taken from all mothers. Parity, current age of infant, weight, height, BMI, BMI category, educational status, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) and any pre-lacteal feed given, was noted. The independent variables for the study were maternal knowledge and attitudes towards EBF. 15 questions for assessment of knowledge and 12 for maternal attitude were used. Results: Among these 100 women, 66% (n=66) were currently feeding their newborns, but only 17% (n=17) of the total 100 women were practicing exclusive-breast-feeding. 95% were having good and above average knowledge regarding breast feeding practices. Still only half of the mothers had a positive attitude towards breast feeding; only 66% of the women were practicing breast feeding. Among educated mother 47.6% had a positive attitude toward breast feeding. Mothers with knowledge of breast-feeding above average/good were of 25 years or above age group. Conclusion: Education of the mothers can be linked to their high knowledge but is not significantly associated with their positive attitudes. Positive campaigns are required focusing not only un-educated young mothers, but also involving young educated primiparous women. Women should be encouraged from the first pregnancy regarding exclusive breast feeding and colostrum feeding, without the use of any pre-lacteal feeds, whatever the mode of delivery is.