Infant and Young Child Feeding Perceptions and Practices among Mothers in a Rural Area of West Bengal, India

Author(s): Das N, Chattopadhyay D*, Chakraborty S and Dasgupta A

Background: There are many wrong practices and perceptions of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) prevalent among different socio‑demographic groups. Aim: To observe IYCF perceptions and practices among mothers in a rural area of West Bengal. Subjects and Methods: Clinic‑based cross‑sectional descriptive study by interviewing mothers of 0‑23 month old children. Appropriate response to each selected key question was assigned a score of + 1 for objective assessment. Data analysis was done by standard statistical methods using the statistical software SPSS 13.0 (Kolkata, India) for windows version. Percentages were calculated for descriptive statistics. Chi‑square test of significance was employed whenever required. Results: 65.8% (225/342) mothers did not initiate breast feeding within 1 h of birth, 41.7% (90/216) mothers of children aged 6 months or more did not exclusively breastfeed their babies up to 6 months and 28.1% (96/342) used bottles for baby‑feeding. Perception scores among younger than 20‑year‑old mothers were found to be highest; however, practice score increased significantly with age. Though perception and practice of mothers with some education were significantly better they wane with higher education. Lowest practice score was found in the richest per capita income group. Conclusion: Emphasis should be given to IYCF education sessions.


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