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23

J Liaquat Uni Med Health Sci. 2006; 5(1): 08-13


FEEDING BELIEFS AND PRACTICES OF MOTHERS/ CAREGIVERS FOR THEIR INFANTS

Yasmeen Memon, Salma Sheikh, Aslam Memon and Naheed Memon.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the nutritional practices and beliefs for infants by mothers/care givers
in our set up.
DESIGN: A descriptive study.
SETTING: Liaquat University Hospital, Hyderabad Sindh, from 7th November to 16th December,
2001.
METHODS: One hundred infants admitted in paediatrics ward were selected for the study. Study
was based on a questionnaire, developed to collect information by interviewing mothers to ascertain
their infant feeding practices and various beliefs/taboos affecting these practices.
RESULTS: One hundred mothers belonging to urban and rural areas were interviewed. At birth,
71% of mothers discarded colostrum. The frequency of breast-feeding was high initially but due
to variety of socio-cultural reasons, it declined rapidly with early supplementation of bottlefeeding.
Pre-lacteal feeding was a major reason for breast feeding delay. Exclusive breastfeeding
was of short duration. Inadequate weaning in terms of quality and quantity was observed
common. Cultural beliefs and taboos were affecting the weaning in majority of the cases.
CONCLUSION: Lack of maternal education about feeding the infant is significant in our set up.
There is, therefore, a need to educate the mothers about correct feeding practices so that
healthy growth of the infants can be maintained.

Key words: Feeding Practices. Socio-cultural factors. Maternal education. Infant.



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