Volume : 4
Issue : 4
Online ISSN : 2394-6776
Print ISSN : 2394-6768
Article First Page : 277
Article End Page : 279
Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding implies that, the infant receives only breast milk for the first six months of life after birth. In rural areas in our community, many mothers are unaware of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding. Hence the study was carried out to find the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding and to create awareness about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in rural area of Tamil Nadu.
Materials and Methods: The descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among 250 women having children between the age group of 6 months to 3 years attending Rural Health training centre of a private medical college. Convenient sampling technique was followed, and a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect socio demographic details and breastfeeding practices.
Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was found to be 38.8% and only 33% of children were breastfed within one hour after birth. The major reason given by the mothers for bottle feeding their infants was that of their misconception that, bottle feeding is more nutritious than breast milk. Health education to all the mothers was given explaining the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Conclusion: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was found to be low in our study area. Through health education camps and awareness creation programs, health education has to be provided to all mothers and their family members about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.
Keywords: weaning, formula feeding, infections