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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108-113

Breast feeding practices and associated factors in Bhaktapur District of Nepal: A community based cross-sectional study among lactating mothers

1 Department of Public Health, JN Medical College, KLE University, Belgaum, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, District Public Health Office, Kathmandu, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Dillee Prasad Paudel
Department of Public Health, JN Medical College, KLE University, Nehru Nagar, Belgaum, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-5009.132851

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Background: Infant feeding is a major determinant of survival, future nutrition and health status of children. Breast-feeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. It is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Exclusive breast feeding (EBF) is superior to non-exclusive breast-feeding with a protective effect against both morbidity and mortality. This study was aimed to explore the breast feeding practice and affecting factors in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Materials and Methods: Community based cross-sectional study was carried out from February to May 2007 in a rural area of Bhaktapur, Nepal. Total 333 lactating mothers having a child less than 6 months were interviewed using pretested questionnaire with her written consent. Analysis was performed in Statistical Pakage of Social Science-13 version applying appropriate statistics. Results were presented in tabular and narrative forms. Results: Among 333 mothers (mean age ± standard deviation 24.68 ± 4.16 years), majority (76.6%) were 20-30 years. Almost 83.0% were Hindus, 25.8% illiterate, 62.8% house-wives and 53.5% from joint family with low economic status. About 48.0% had a baby of 2-4 months, 86.0% avoided pre-lacteal feeding, 87.1% fed colostrums, 27.9% fed the first milk within half an hour and 55.0% practiced exclusive breast-feeding for 6 months. Child's age, education, religion, occupation, family type and knowledge level were significant (P < 0.05) factors affecting to breast feeding. Conclusion: Despite the high proportion of women initiated breast-feeding early after birth, the prevalence of EBF for 6 months was very low and a large portion had poor practice of breast feeding. Education, relationship of mother with a family member and level of knowledge were found most significant factors. Appropriate measures such as public awareness and effective counseling will support to increase better breast feeding practice.

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