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Knowledge and attitude towards breast feeding among adolescent girls

Knowledge and attitude towards breast feeding among adolescent girls

Indian Journal of Pediatrics 57(3): 401-404

Researchers in New Delhi, India studied the knowledge and attitude of breast feeding of 76 year science college students (average age: 17 years) in 1987. None of the adolescent females were married and most of them were from middle class families. 95% recognized that breast feeding is best for the child and should be begun shortly after childbirth. In addition, almost 98% know that breast milk provides antibodies which protect the child against infections. 100% reported that breast feeding promotes more intense love, affection, and bondage between mother and child than does little bottle feeding. 92% knew that diarrhea is often caused by unhygienic bottle feedings and 89% knew that infants who are only breast fed have less diarrheal episodes than those who are bottle fed and/or breast fed and receive supplements. Almost 36% reported that bottle feeding should never be done. 82% reported correctly that infants should begin eating semi solid foods at 4-5 months old. 92% incorrectly believed that the more a mother eats dry fruits and ghee the more breast milk she will produce. In addition, 55% erroneously thought that the mother should dilute the top milk to ease digestion. Further, 68% thought the more milk a mother drinks the more breast milk she will produce. 60% believed that prolonged breast feeding causes breast deformity. 29% thought breast feeding to be embarrassing outside the home. Erroneous responses concerning nutrition may have been due to inadequate emphasis on nutrition education messages in the media. This study emphasizes the need to readdress these messages so as to increase knowledge of breast feeding among female adolescents.

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Accession: 040541730

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PMID: 2228094

DOI: 10.1007/bf02727925

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