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Study of complementary feeding practices among mothers of children aged six months to two years – A study from coastal south India

Author(s): Rao S | Swathi PM | Unnikrishnan B | Hegde A

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 4;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 252;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Complementary feeding | children | coastal south India

BackgroundInfants and young children are at an increased risk ofmalnutrition from six months of age onwards, when breastmilk alone is no longer sufficient to meet all their nutritionalrequirements and complementary feeding should bestarted. Hence this study was undertaken to assess thepractices of complementary feeding.MethodThis hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted attwo private hospitals – Dr TMA Pai Hospital Udupi and DrTMA Pai Hospital Karkala and a public hospital, RegionalAdvanced Paediatric Care Centre, Mangalore, of coastalsouth India for a two-month period from August 2010 toOctober 2010. Two-hundred mothers of children betweensix months and two years attending the paediatricoutpatient departments of the above-mentioned hospitalsfor growth monitoring, immunisation and minor illnessessuch as upper respiratory tract infections were selected forthe study. The subjects were selected for the study by theorder of their arrival to the outpatient department duringthe study period.ResultsIn the present study 77.5% mothers had startedcomplementary feeding at the recommended time of sixmonths. Only 32% of mothers were giving an adequatequantity of complementary feeds. The association ofinitiation of complementary feeding with socio-economicstatus, birth order, place of delivery and maternal educationwas found to be statistically significant. However thepractice of giving an adequate quantity of complementaryfeeds was significantly associated only with the place ofdelivery.ConclusionIn the present study, initiation of complementary feeding atthe recommended time of six months was seen in themajority of children. However the quantity ofcomplementary feeding was insufficient. Advice aboutbreast feeding and complementary feeding during antenatalcheck-ups and postnatal visits might improve feedingpractices.
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