Breastfeeding counselling and support: is it adequate? a descriptive study from Rohtak, India

Shweta Goswami, Pardeep Khanna, Ramesh Verma, Vinod Chayal, Varun Arora


Background: Antenatal breastfeeding education and motivation along with postnatal encouragement and lactation support are likely to improve rates of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding. This study was done to know whether antenatal and postnatal visits were utilized for promotion of optimum breastfeeding in addition to the routine obstetric services.

Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional type of community based epidemiological study was conducted in rural and urban field practice area attached to Department of Community Medicine, Pt. B. D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak. A total of 500 mothers were studied. A pre-tested semi-structured interview schedule was used for interviewing the study subjects and house to house visits were carried out to collect the information.

Results: Health functionaries were the source of information in 49.6% mothers in urban area as compared to only 29.2% in rural areas. Breastfeeding related information was better in the mothers counseled by health functionaries than not counseled group.

Conclusions: Health functionaries should be instructed to inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding during antenatal as well as postnatal visits. Existing breastfeeding education and postnatal support is not adequate in the population studied and needs to be strengthened.


Antenatal visits, Breastfeeding education, Exclusive breastfeeding, Early initiation of breastfeeding, Postnatal visits

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