Document Type : Original Article



INTRODUCTION: Breast milk provides nutritional, immunological, behavioral, and economic benefits
and helps to build mother‑infant bonding. Antenatal mothers need to be sufficiently aware about the
benefits of breastfeeding.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to assess the awareness and perception of breastfeeding
among antenatal mothers and to find out any association between sociodemographic factors and
breastfeeding awareness.
METHODOLOGY: A cross‑sectional study was conducted among 250 antenatal women residing in the
urban slums of field‑practice area of urban health and training center; using a predesigned, pretested,
semi‑structured interview schedule. Antenatal checkup followed by one to one counseling for the
women regarding breastfeeding was provided. Data were represented by frequencies, proportions,
and associations using Chi‑square, and the P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: Most (55.6%) of the women were in the age group of 18–24 years. The mean age at
marriage was 19.2 ± 2.5 years. 81.2% of them were Hindus, 13.2% had adequate, 49.6% had
moderately adequate, whereas 37.2% women had inadequate awareness about breastfeeding.
About 100% intended to breastfeed their children, but only 64% said that they intended to exclusively
breastfeed. 66.4% knew about the importance of colostrum. Age‑group, religion, literacy, occupation,
type of family, gravida, and number of antenatal visits showed highly significant (P < 0.001) association
with awareness of breastfeeding.
CONCLUSION: Nearly one‑third of the antenatal mothers lacked awareness on breastfeeding
practices. Although all intended to breastfeed, still only 64% knew about exclusive breastfeeding.
These gaps need to be addressed by awareness generation activities during antenatal counseling.


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