"ASSESSING KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES REGARDING BREASTFEEDING AMONG UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL STUDENTS IN CENTRAL INDIA: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY"

Main Article Content

Dr Pratibha Kale
Dr. Apurva kale
Dr. Pankaj Barabde
Dr.Aditi Katkar

Keywords

Breast milk, breastfeeding, knowledge, medical students, children health

Abstract

Background: Breast milk serves as the ideal source of nutrition for infants and is essential to ensuring children's health and survival. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to evaluating breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes among medical college undergraduates in central India.


Methodology: This was institutional based cross sectional study conducted at Dr. P. D. M. Medical College & research centre in central India. We employed a validated structured questionnaire to evaluate the breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes among medical college students. A comprehensive enumeration was conducted among all students from the college. In our analysis, a p-value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant in order to assess the impact of various factors on breastfeeding knowledge.


Results: In the first year, breastfeeding durations varied, with significant year-to-year differences noted (p = 0.004). Preferences for weaning foods also varied across the three years, with a highly significant association found between food type and year (p < 0.001). The timing of water introduction to infants showed a significant relationship with the year (p = 0.006). Students' knowledge about twin's and supplemental feeding demonstrated a strong year-related correlation (p < 0.0001), but similar trends were observed in subsequent years without specific statistics. Likewise, knowledge about breast size and secretion displayed a significant year-related relationship (p = 0.006), while prevention of pollution using breastfeeding showed varying responses across the years without significant associations in chi-square tests.


Conclusion: This study revealed significant year-to-year variations in breastfeeding practices, weaning food choices, and the timing of water introduction to infants. Students' knowledge levels regarding certain aspects of infant care also varied by year. However, no significant associations were found concerning pollution prevention through breastfeeding. These findings highlight the need for ongoing education and interventions to promote maternal and child health. Further research can help explore the underlying factors driving these trends.

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