Infant feeding and weaning practices in some semi-arid rural areas of Rajasthan.J Indian Med Assoc. 1997 Nov; 95(11):576-8, 590.JI
The paper contains information on infant feeding and weaning practices in the rural communities of a semi-arid district of Rajasthan. The findings have been drawn from a recent survey of 328 rural mothers. The rural women of this area are found to believe in old deep seated beliefs and customs, which in turn deprive their infants from advantages of colostrum (77% discarded colostrum) and nutritionally rich supplements, which otherwise should be supplemented to them at any cost in order to keep them healthy. The practices of prolonged breast feeding and delayed supplementation to infants are rampant in this area. Mean age at weaning (27.1 months) again not only affects the health status of mothers and their children but also leads to the undernutrition among both. The findings of the study necessitate to evolve an exhaustive educative programme dealing with various aspects of infant feeding and weaning practices, keeping in view their traditions, so that the useful practices can be encouraged and harmful ones be prohibited.