Expressed breast milk: a less used option by working mothers of India


  • Suvarna Rai Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Malla Reddy Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India



Expressed breast milk, Formula feeds, Pumping breast milk, Working mothers


Background: Expressed breast milk is a healthy feeding option as compared to formula milk for working postnatal mothers. Objective of present work was to study the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding expressed breast milk feeding among working postnatal mothers and to identify and explore the barriers against it.

Methods: A double blinded cross sectional study was conducted at a tertiary care centre in Hyderabad city, India. 100 working breastfeeding postnatal mothers with infants upto 1 year were identified. A validated questionnaire in English and Hindi was used for data collection. It constituted personal characteristics, knowledge regarding expressed breast milk feeding, attitude towards it and presently followed practices by working mothers.

Results: A total of 100 working mothers with infants less than one year were selected who attended the postnatal clinics at our hospital, a tertiary care centre in Hyderabad city. Overall, the knowledge regarding expressed breast milk feeding was unsatisfactory in 64% of women. Only 36% of them had satisfactory knowledge. Positive attitude towards expressed breast milk feeding was seen in 60% of them and 40% of them had negative attitude. Expressed breast milk feeding was practised by 11% of them, formula milk by 53%, mixed feeding by 10% and cow milk by 26% as a substitute to breast feeding in their absence. Univariate analysis revealed no statistically significant determinant of their knowledge, attitude and practices.

Conclusions: Knowledge about expressed breast milk feeding in Indian working breastfeeding mothers is suboptimal. Imparting adequate knowledge can improve feeding practices.


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