Knowledge attitude and practice of exclusive breastfeeding among breastfeeding mothers in Trongsa district, Bhutan
Introduction: The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated around 1.4 million deaths and 10% of the disease burden in children under 5 years of age is due to non-exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life. As per the WHO, exclusive breastfeeding is considered the best nourishment for children in first six months. However, majority of the mothers fail to practice exclusive breastfeeding due to inadequate or lack of knowledge which poses a challenge. Thus, this study intends to assess knowledge, attitude and practices among breastfeeding mothers in Trongsa. Methods: A cross-sectional study was used. Data was collected from 205 breast feeding mothers in Trongsa District using the pre-tested structured questionnaire. Results: Majority (98%) of the mothers had an adequate knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding starting from early initiation, the feeding of colostrum and providing complementary feeding. Health staff and the national television were the main source of information for the mothers on exclusive breastfeeding. However, in terms of practice, 20% of them did not exclusively breastfeed and had given additional feeds along with breast milk with the assumption of insufficient mother’s milk. Similarly, 13.2% of them had squeezed and thrown away the colostrum. Conclusions: Despite mothers having good knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding, it was not practiced and followed. This study’s findings indicate a gap between the knowledge and the actual practice of exclusive breastfeeding among breastfeeding mothers in Trongsa.
Keywords: Attitude; Exclusive breastfeeding; Knowledge; Practice.