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Rajalakshmi, D., & Kalaivani, D. (2019). Food Habits among Lactating Mother. International Journal of Contemporary Research and Review, 10(02), 20617-20620. https://doi.org/10.15520/ijcrr.v10i02.676
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Feb 24, 2019
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Introduction:

The fact that many Indian mothers in the low income group have been observed to lose weight while nursing a baby clearly indicates that their calories and possibly their portion needs are not met. Thus there is a needs to give special importance to the diet of lactating mothers especially in low socio economic groups who are the most neglected segment of our society. Then themselves are not aware of the importance of maintaining their own health and nutritional status. Poverty, ignorance along with the involvement in earning bread of the family are the limiting factors which affects their food and nutritient intake ( Dutta, 2004 ).

This study was conceptualized and conducted among the mother to assess their regarding dietary practices during pregnancy and lactation.

Objectives of the study:

  • To assess the knowledge and beliefs on diet among lactating women and

  • To assess the food and nutrient intake of lactating women

Methodology:

The cross-sectional study is conducted in the following areas of the Coimbatore district which is selected using Multi stage strata sampling

techniques. The blocks are Karamadai , Annur, Thondamuthur, Madukarai, Sarkkarsamakkulam ( Kovilpalayam ) and Narachimmanaichenpalayam. From each block two Village Panchayats and one Town Panchayat are chosen randomly to conduct the research and Pollachi and Mettupalayam are selected under the category of Corporation and Municipalities of Coimbatore district.

Rapport was developed through frequent visits and discussions with Panchayat Presidents, Panchayat Level Federation Leaders, Self Help Groups, Non Governmental Organisations, School Head Masters, Integrated Child Development Scheme Officers, Child Development Programme Officers, Anganwadi Teachers, rural and urban people, to select the target people.

The total sample size 1000 was drawn from five blocks of Coimbatore district. Multi stage strata sampling techniques were used to select the area and sample for the study. Fifty women were chosen from each Panchayat, Municipality and Corporation (10-Village Panchayats, 6-Town Panchayats, 2-Municipalities, 2-Corporation). The criteria used for the selection of the sample was mothers who have breastfeed their children at least for two years, newly married women, pregnant women, who were going to deliver the second child. Interview Schedule was used to collect data from the women. The prepared interview schedule was evaluated by the experts for standardization. The independent and dependent variables were identified, based on the data collected from the respondents.

The data was collected from selected 500 women by face-to-face contact after agreeing to participate in the study. The collected data were consolidated, analysed and presented in Results and Discussion.

Results and Discussion:

Food Habit of Lactating Mothers in Rural Areas:

Lactating women are at high risk of energy and nutrient inadequacies. Programs to increase breast-feeding rates, particularly among low-income communities, must include strategies to ensure adequate diets during lactation.

A study on was carried by Goel et al, 2007. The majority of the subjects (87.8%) knew that medication should be avoided during pregnancy. Only 26.48% believed that drinking alcohol and smoking is harmful for pregnant females. Knowledge about need of extra food (78.7%) and extra iron (78.26%) during pregnancy was found to be quite high. Only 19,76% reported that extra sleep/rest is essential during pregnancy. Only 18.97% respondents had information about the importance of colostrum.

The dietary pattern of the respondents during lactation is shown in the Table III. Nearly 20 per cent of respondents were either newly married or had no children. In the entire village Panchayats, it is seen that a large proportion of the respondents consume both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. A lowest per cent of the respondents indicated that they are vegetarian (6 per cent) and ova-vegetarian (16 per cent).

Sixty per cent of the women take additional food and fluids to produce more milk and 56 per cent take extra food for feeding the baby as long as it sucks. Nearly 80 per cent of the respondents feel that milk, vegetables, fruits, fish and fish products, rice, pepper, ginger and garlic are the food that helps maintain adequate lactation.

Items Percentage of the Respondents N=500
Food Habits Vegetarian only 6
Ova -Vegetarian 16
Both Veg and Non-Veg 56
No Response ( Newly Married ) 22
Reasons for additional foods and fluids To produce more milk 59
To avoid tiredness 59
To feed as long as the baby needs 56
No Response ( Newly Married ) 22
Foods for adequate lactation* More fluid 45
Milk 58
Egg 48
Vegetables 58
Green leafy vegetables 35
Rice, pepper, ginger and garlic 58
Fish & Fish Products 50
No Response ( Newly Married ) 22
Food Intake of Lactating Mother* Fruits 34
Vegetables 48
Spices 34
Animal food 47
Beverages 14
No Responses ( Newly Married ) 22

Food Habits of Lactating Mother in Rural Areas

*Multiple Responses Source: Field survey 2013

Food Habit of Lactating Mothers in Urban Areas:

Items Percentage of the Respondents N=500
Food Habits Vegetarian only 4
Ova Vegetarian 12
Both Veg and NonVeg 64
No Response ( Newly Married ) 20
Reasons for additional foods and fluids (before each feed)* To produce more milk 66
To avoid tiredness 54
To feed as long as the baby needs 59
No Response ( Newly Married ) 20
Foods for adequate lactation* More fluid 59
Milk 55
Egg 58
Vegetables 55
Green leafy vegetables 24
Rice, pepper, ginger and garlic 63
Fish & Fish Products 51
No Response ( Newly Married ) 20
Food Intake of Lactating Mother* Fruits 34
Vegetables 60
Spices 36
Animal food 54
Beverages 14
No Response ( Newly Married ) 20

Food Habits of Lactating Mother in Urban Areas

*Multiple Responses Source: Field survey 2013

Mother should be encouraged to continue her new interest in after the newborn arrives. This improvement can have long lasting effects on her family. Improved nutrition promote better health for the family, it can also have a positive effect on future pregnancies of the mother and her children. The postnatal diet should provide for balanced nutrition with enough calories to supply the additional requirements for lactation, if the women will be breast feeding her newborn . Adequate nutritional intake will speed the mother’s convalescence and allow her to recover her strength more quickly, the quality and quantity of her milk also will improve.

The details about the dietary pattern of the respondents during lactation are shown in the Table IV. In all urban areas about 20 per cent of respondents were a combination of newly married couples and couples with no children. A High per cent of the respondents take both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food (68 per cent). While the respondents with vegetarian and ova-vegetarian diet are lower. Only five per cent of them were vegetarians.

Sixty per cent of the women take supplementary food and fluids to produce more milk and for feeding the baby as long as it sucks. About fifty per cent take additional supplementary food for not getting tiredness. Nearly eighty per cent of the respondents feel that milk, vegetables, fruits, fish and fish products, rice, pepper, ginger and garlic are foods that helps lactation.

Conclusion:

Lactation is physiologic process, which has profound relevance for both the mother and the new born. Adequate nutrition for the mother during lactation is also of vital importance as the infant is dependent on mother’s milk for its nutrition for the first few months of life. As the mother has to nourish the fully developed and rapidly growing infant mothers needs extra nutrients to meet the baby’s increasing needs in addition to her own requirements. Inadequate nutrition during lactation is reflected on both the quality and quantity of milk secreted. During breast-feeding the mother needs to eat a sufficient and nutrient-rich diet to provide enough energy and nutrients to support milk production.

Recommendation:

Nutrition education to women is a good starting point for the introduction of better dietary habits. A need exists for establishing a nutrition education activity in maternal and child health centers in order to teach women better methods of feeding themselves during pregnancy and lactation and their infants before and throughout the weaning period. Knowledge about nutrition should be largely diffused to the public through the mass media.

Reference:

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