2023, VOL. 9 ISSUE 3, PART B
Breastfeeding is a fundamental human activity crucial for the well-being of both infants and mothers, holding significant economic value within household societies. Numerous studies have explored breastfeeding and weaning practices. While some researchers have examined postpartum mothers in urban and rural settings separately, there has been no comprehensive comparative study. Our research focuses on women living in both urban and rural areas of Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh, whose children are under six months old. This study aims to assess whether disparities exist in knowledge and awareness about breastfeeding and weaning practices between urban and rural women, potentially impacting child development. Specifically, we seek to decide if there is a divergence in breastfeeding awareness between these two groups. We employed a purposive random sampling design to select the study area and participants. The study was conducted in two villages and two urban areas within Meerut district. The smallest required sample size was 40, evenly divided between 20 female respondents from rural areas and 20 from urban areas. Remarkably, 100% of both rural and urban mothers showed awareness of the protective benefits associated with breastfeeding. Approximately 85% of urban mothers and 80% of rural mothers showed commendable understanding of colostrum, with urban mothers displaying a slightly higher level of awareness. In terms of recognizing the proper signs of breastfeeding in infants, urban mothers had a higher response rate compared to their rural counterparts. Upon analyzing the results, we conclude that there is not a significant difference in the level of knowledge and awareness between rural and urban lactating mothers. This study underscores that rural women are equally capable as urban women in various aspects, with urban women excelling in some criteria. However, it is important to note that urban women are less informed about certain aspects compared to their rural counterparts. Consequently, targeted interventions, particularly in urban areas, are essential to enhance knowledge and practices related to infant feeding. Such initiatives can contribute to improved infant health and overall well-being within the region.