Medical and public health experts advocate breastfeeding as the best method of feeding young infants for a wide variety of reasons. It is evident that even the most sophisticated and carefully adapted formulae can never replicate human milk, as human milk has anti-infective properties, and is a ‘live’ fluid which cannot be mimicked in an artificial formula. An adequate supply of human breast milk is known to satisfy virtually all the nutritional needs of an infant at least for the first six months of life.
Materials and Methods: The data was collected by a pre-evaluated questionnaire printed in English or local language. Only those mothers were included in this study who had a full term newborn infant with a weight gain of less than 16.6 gr/day (500 g/month). Exclusion criteria were as follow: mothers with preterm or low‐ birth‐weight infants; working mothers; mothers with infants who had cardiac, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, metabolic, genetic and neurological disorders or anomalies; mothers who had tried bottle‐feeding before counseling; mothers with multiple gestations; mothers with anatomical abnormalities of breast; mothers who had been admitted to hospital more than three days after delivery; mothers whose newborn infant had been admitted to hospital more than three days after birth.
Results: The scoring was marked such that maximum scored for positive responses and minimum for negative responses. Knowledge of the mothers in various aspects of breast- feeding was analyzed as shown in Table. On univariate analysis mothers with more than 2 children, delivery by normal vaginal labour had better knowledge of healthy breastfeeding practices. Women with a better educated partner practiced healthy breastfeeding. In our study we found that mother's education or the religion she practiced or sex of the child had no role in practicing healthy breastfeeding.
Conclusion: The need of the hour is to educate our health care personnel about the importance of providing breastfeeding counselling to mothers whenever they get the opportunity, especially during the antenatal visits.