Introduction: Infant mortality rate (IMR) is considered as one of the most sensitive indicators of health status of a community. Infant mortality figures in India are very high and the two important causes which contributes maximum to the IMR is inadequate breastfeeding and immunization. The major cause of death among under five children in India is neonatal sepsis, diarrhea and pneumonia and breast milk is protective against all the three diseases. Immunization along with breastfeeding reduces a significant number of infant and maternal mortality. Disease like neonatal tetanus is rampant in our country and it can be prevented by vaccination of the women during pregnancy. This study tries to find out the awareness and attitude among the primigravida females regarding breastfeeding and immunization. Materials and Methods: This facility based cross-sectional study was conducted among 186 primigravida who came to the hospital for delivery and antenatal check-up during March 2014 in three associated teaching hospitals of Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, which is situated in coastal South India. Approval was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC) of KMC (Manipal University), Mangalore, India. A pre tested, semi structured questionnaire was used as the data collecting tool. Results: Majority (n=163, 87.6%) were Hindus followed by Muslims (n=16, 3.2%). Nearly half of the participants (n=92, 49.5%) were in the 21-25 y age group, 54.8% participants were not aware of correct position of baby during feeding and 10.8% (n=20) believed that immunization should be stopped if it showed side effects. Conclusion: Breastfeeding and Immunization is an effective way of reducing child and maternal mortality. The results from our study showed that many participants had lacunae in knowledge and attitude and adequate health education should be given to the pregnant women.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry