Parental attitudes towards Breastfeeding practices in comparison to Formula feeding and its sociodemographic determinants
Breastfeeding has been merited as a pertinent source of nutrition for growth and development of the young infants. Despite ample health education and awareness endeavors about the advantages of breastfeeding, the current exclusive breastfeeding rates are still on the lower side in developing countries like India.
Materials and methods
This was a prospective,cross sectional study conducted at Dept of Pediatrics in a zonal hospital in North India. To assess the maternal and paternal attitudes towards breastfeeding and formula feeding, we prepared a17 point questionnaire adapted from IIFAS (lowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale). IIFAS is a reliable and validated tool for assessing attitudes toward breastfeeding .
There is overall statistically significant difference seen among the level of education and positive breastfeeding attitudes (p = .001) and this was more noticeable among mothers (p=0.00) than fathers (p = 0.480). Professional mothers and housewives do not have any differences (p=0.223) in positive attitudes towards breastfeeding, but contrary to popular belief, professional mothers had more positive attitude(average score=28.5±2.4) towards breastfeeding than house wives (average score = 27.7±2.6).
This study highlights both the maternal and paternal attitudes towards breastfeeding in comparison to the formula feeds in a developing country like India along with various socio- demographic factors which influence these attitudes. These findings speaks volumes about the need for considerable improvement of infrastructure for breastfeeding at public places and constituting a set policy for breastfeeding in developing countries like India.
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