COMMUNITY-BASED STUDY ON KNOWLEDGE VERSUS PRACTICE OF BREAST FEEDING AMONG MOTHERS
Jayesh Panot, Pradnya Jadhav*, Sandhya Khadse and Sundaram Kartikeyan
This cross-sectional, community-based study was conducted using convenience sampling technique in a metropolitan city in Western India to determine the knowledge and practices of breast feeding among mothers. Women who had given birth to healthy live-born babies of either sex, in the two years preceding the study, who had volunteered to participate in the study, were included. After explaining the purpose of the study was explained to stake holders in the community and prospective participants, those who satisfied the inclusion criteria and gave informed consent (n=722) were interviewed by a female researcher at a time and place convenient to them, using a semi-structured pre-tested questionnaire. The mean age of respondents was 25.73 Â± 4.02 years, 83.24% were homemakers, and they were from diverse religious and educational backgrounds. The gap between knowledge and practice was significant regarding exclusive breast feeding for six months (Z=19.678; p<0.0001) and initiation of breast feeding within one hour of birth (Z=3.348; p=0.008). In order to bridge this gap between knowledge and practice, it is necessary to devise multi-pronged community-specific interventions, such as, prenatal education for prospective mothers and fathers on breast feeding, and â€œprimingâ€ educational sessions on breast feeding for adolescent girls. Involvement of family members in these interventions will help develop intra-family support system for breast feeding.
Keywords: Breast feeding, Community, Knowledge-Practice Gap.
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