Breastfeeding practices among the Gond tribe of Mandla District of Madhya Pradesh

Shiv Kumar Singh


Background: breast feeding is the safest, least allergic and best infant feeding method. It has nutritional, immunological, behavioral and economic benefits and also provide desirable mother infant bonding. We did a cross-sectional household study to assess feeding practices of infants and young children in rural areas of study blocks. The infant feeding practices of ‘Gond’, one of the major (57.23%) tribal communities of Mandla District, Madhya Pradesh was studied in detail in the present investigation.

Material and methods: A comparative study conducted in the two blocks of Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh. The information was collected through interview method of 522 households which is has a child up to age group of 5 years  with the help of predesigned and pre-tested schedules and through personal observation.

Results: The study revealed an encouraging fact that all the respondents fed their babies with breast milk. At the same time, it was observed that he households was introduced the breast milk within 24 hours of birth and in more than 99.2% of cases, colostrums was not discarded. Instead, varieties of pre lacteal foods were given little bit households prior to putting the child for breast feeding. Exclusive breast feeding was initiated on early time supplementary foods were introduced after the child attained about 6 months completed age. Mostly homemade cereal preparations were given daily as supplementary foods as when are required. Such time of initiating infant feeding practices, including early initiation of breast milk, supplementary food habits and exclusive breastfeeding practices found in the tribe.   

Conclusion: Early initiation of breastfeeding (within an hour of birth) and other feeding practices were associated with community, type of family and education of mother. Efforts are needed to promote early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and age-appropriate complementary feeding among infants.


Prelacteal feeds, colostrum, Exclusive breastfeeding, knowledge, Gond tribe.

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