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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-61

Barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in rural community of central Gujarat, India

Department of Community Medicine, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Dinesh J Bhanderi
Department of Community Medicine, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_329_18

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Context: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in first the 6 months of life is the most effective way to satisfy nutritional and psychological needs of a baby. However, EBF rate for India remained low at 54.9% during 2015–2016. It is therefore essential to understand the reasons for such a low EBF rate in the country so that appropriate interventions can be developed and implemented. Objectives: (1) To estimate the prevalence of EBF in rural community of central Gujarat and (2) to identify barriers to EBF in this community. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross sectional study was conducted among mothers of 330 infants of age 6 months to 1 year using pretested questionnaire. Two-stage cluster sampling technique was used to select the sample. χ2 test, t-test, and logistic regression were applied to assess the significance of associations. Results: EBF rate in the studied population was detected to be 49.7%. Early marriage of parents, less educated parents, male child, Christian religion, working mother, less number of antenatal visits, operative delivery, late initiation of breastfeeding, not feeding colostrum, lack of knowledge about EBF, and poor counseling of mother regarding EBF were identified as barriers to EBF. Conclusion: Prevalence of EBF was found to be lower than the national average in the rural community of central Gujarat. Effective strategies at local, state, and national levels should aim at addressing the barriers to EBF that are identified in this study.

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