A study of complementary feeding practices among higher educated mothers in north-western part of Rajasthan

Vishnu Kumar Pansari, Suniti Verma, Ram Narain Sehra, Niranjan Nagaraj

Abstract


Background: Infants and young children are at an increased risk of malnutrition from 6 months of age onward when breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet all their nutritional requirements and complementary feeding should be started. Objective: This study was undertaken to assess the practices of complementary feeding and knowledge of infant milk substitute (IMS) act in higher educated mothers. Materials and Methods: This hospital-based cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in a medical college of Rajasthan from January to December 2015. Totally, 300 mothers with graduate/post-graduate degree whose children were between 9 and 15 months of age,were included in the study. All the mothers were interviewed as per the standardized pro forma regarding the complementary feeding practices. Results: Maximum numbers of mothers were homemakers (67.3%) as compared to employed (32.7%). In the present study, 38.98% mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding till 6 months of age, and 69.49%
infants were exclusive breastfed till 4 months of age. Out of total 300 mothers, 116 (38.6%) introduced complementary feed before 6 months of age while 142 (47.3%) introduced at 6 months of age. 140 (46.6%) educated mothers started complementary feeding with homemade preparations while 115 (38.4%) started with market preparations. 33 (39.2%) mothers stopped breastfeeding at 6-9 months of age, and 33 (39.2%) mothers stopped breast feeding between 10 and 12+ months of age. A significant portion 274 (91.3%) of educated mothers did not have knowledge of IMS act. Conclusion: In the present study, majority of the mothers considered milk supplementation as complementary feeding and employed mothers preferred market preparations. Knowledge regarding IMS act was not satisfactory.


Keywords


Complementary feed, Educated mothers, Exclusive breastfeed, Infant milk substitute act

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