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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 244

Breastfeeding week celebrations in rural Puducherry

Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Research Center, Puducherry, India

Date of Web Publication21-Oct-2013

Correspondence Address:
Murugan Venkatesan
Department of Community Medicine, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College and Research Center, Puducherry
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.120161

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How to cite this article:
Venkatesan M, Dongre AR. Breastfeeding week celebrations in rural Puducherry. Indian J Community Med 2013;38:244

How to cite this URL:
Venkatesan M, Dongre AR. Breastfeeding week celebrations in rural Puducherry. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Jun 30];38:244. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2013/38/4/244/120161


In 2011, we celebrated breastfeeding week in our field practice area, which overlaps with rural areas of Tamilnadu. To begin with, we referred to National Family Health Survey-3 data and tried to find out the status of breastfeeding practices in our areas. We found that even though the percentage of institutional deliveries are high (90%), the percentage of children who received breastfeeding in one hour was just 52%. [1] This signifies poor implementation of breastfeeding policies in health care facilities and also signifies the missed opportunity to health educate the mother and her relatives about importance of exclusive breastfeeding. In the settings, where the practice of institutional delivery is high, the staff of healthcare facility should ensure education of the mothers regarding exclusive breastfeeding, positioning, and attachment of infant to the breast before discharge from the healthcare facility. At the village level, village health nutrition day can be utilized for health education of future mothers and support for breastfeeding mothers. [2] To achieve this, staff of the health care facility should be educated and trained in the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, positioning, and attachment of breast.

Hence, as a part of breastfeeding week celebrations, we decided to conduct one-day workshop for first year students of Auxiliary Nurse Mid-wife (ANM) courses and offer them skills-based training on counseling the mother about importance of exclusive breastfeeding, show the mother how to position the child and attach the child to the breast, and management of inverted nipples by using a disposable plastic syringe. We used an Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illness (IMNCI) guidelines, which is recommended under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). We could offer these skills-based training to 86 first year ANM students in surrounding two Para-medical schools. We used photographs, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations. We also emphasized the importance of breastfeeding week and its theme. We also emphasized the importance of infant milk substitute, feeding bottles and infant foods (regulation of production, supply and distribution) act, 1992 (IMS act) as provided by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), India and distributed the hard copy of the circular to all. Two faculties of Community Medicine department, of which one is trained in IMNCI strategy, conducted the sessions.

We also did a pre- and post-test to evaluate our workshop, and there was significant improvement in knowledge and skills acquired. Fifty-five (64%) students knew the importance of exclusive breastfeeding at the beginning of the workshop, and 82 (92.3%) could correctly write its importance at the end of the workshop. None of the student knew about how to position or attach the baby to the breast, but at the end of workshop, 80 (93%) and 71 (82.6) could correctly write about positioning and attachment, respectively. No one knew about managing the problem of inverted nipples and finally, 47 (55%) could tell it correctly. No one knew about IMS act in the beginning, but as a result of workshop, 53 (61.6%) students could correctly write the particulars of IMS act, 1992 [Table 1].
Table 1: Improvement in knowledge and skills among the respondents following the workshop

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We hope, in future, these trained ANM will ensure exclusive breastfeeding and promote correct breastfeeding practices among the mothers in rural Puducherry and Tamilnadu.

   References Top

1.National family health survey (NFHS-3) Report. Mumbai: International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS); 2005-2006.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Dongre AR, Deshmukh PR, Rawool AP, Garg BS. Where and how breastfeeding promotion initiatives should focus its attention? A study from Rural Wardha. Indian J Community Med 2010;35:226-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
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