Published: 2017-11-23

Knowledge, awareness and breast-feeding practices of postnatal mothers in a rural teaching hospital: a cross sectional survey

Deepali Ambike, Abhijit Ambike, Swati Raje, Sanjana Chincholikar


Background: Breastfeeding has several benefits for both the infants and mothers. Despite the evidence of the protective, immunological and psychological beneficial factors seen in breast milk, a decline in breastfeeding rates has been documented in India. The objective of the present study was to examine the knowledge, attitude and practices in breastfeeding in the postnatal mothers of a rural hospital.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among randomly selected postnatal mothers in the postnatal ward of a rural teaching hospital. Data was collected by face to face interviews using a pre-validated structured questionnaire.

Results: Significant difference was found in prevalence of knowledge about advantages of colostrum with respect to education, with less number of people being aware in lower class of education. (χ2=6.6) Statistically significant difference was also found in the prevalence of knowledge about advantages of breast feeding with respect to education trend (χ2=10.48). No significant association was seen with the knowledge provider (doctor/ relatives) regarding breast feeding practices. Significant difference was found in no. of women with knowledge about breast feeding with respect to parity. Less number of primigravida mothers were aware about advantages of breast feeding compared to multigravida women. (χ2=4.1). As against this, more number of primigravida mothers initiated breast feeding within 2 hours compared to multigravida women and difference was statistically significant (χ2=3.95).

Conclusions: Our Findings show that prenatal and antenatal education of mothers on initiation of breastfeeding and colostrum along with proper method and techniques of breastfeeding will eliminate the problems and ignorance regarding same. We also recommend involvement of the nursing and social workers in the postnatal ward to encourage and counsel the mothers for proper breastfeeding practices.


Awareness, Breastfeeding, Knowledge, Mother

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