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Prevalence Of Exclusive Breast Feeding And Its Correlates In An Urban Slum In Western India

Keywords: Breastfeeding , Exclusive breastfeeding , Prelacteal feeds , India , Urban

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Background: The World Health Organizationrecommends the practice of exclusive breastfeeding ofinfants for the first 6 months after birth. The objectiveof present study was to estimate the prevalence andthe factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding.The perceptions of mothers about breastfeeding in anurban slum area of Western India were also enquired.Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted oversix months amongst 200 mothers of children in the agegroup of 6 – 12 months attending the growth anddevelopment clinic in one of the urban health centres.Data was collected using a pre-tested, structuredquestionnaire on breastfeeding practices. Factors relatedto exclusive breastfeeding were analysed using bivariateand multivariate analysis.Results: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding reportedby the participants was 61.5%. Having a male child,maternal age < 30 years, level of education of mother,parity, receiving infant feeding advice, initiation ofbreastfeeding within one hour of birth andadministration of colostrum to the baby were associatedwith exclusive breastfeeding (p<0.001). Multivariatelogistic regression analysis revealed that male sex(adjusted odd ratios: 20.03), primiparity (0.19), homedelivery (0.32), receiving infant feeding advice (5.90),initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth(0.26) and giving colostrum to the baby (2.56) wereindependently associated with exclusive breastfeeding.Prelacteal feeds were given by almost 35% of mothers.Conclusion: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding washigher than the national figures. However, practices likediscarding the colostrum, giving prelacteal feeds,early/late weaning and use of formula feeds are stillwidely prevalent and need to be addressed.


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