Awareness about “Ten Steps for Successful Breastfeeding” among Medical and Nursing Students

Vandana A. Kakrani, Hetal K. Rathod (Waghela), Megha S. Mammulwar, Jitendra S. Bhawalkar


Background: Baby‑friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a vital intervention supported by World Health Organization and UNICEF to reduce infant mortality and has been included as
a part of the curriculum in nursing and medical courses. To know the extent of knowledge of students about BFHI along with its understanding and to find out the gap in their knowledge
about BFHI steps.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among the nursing (4th year) and medical students (3rd year MBBS) about ten steps of BFHI by a pretested and
predesigned questionnaire. After ethical clearance, information was collected about their awareness and correct understanding concerning ten steps.
Results: A total of 102 (51.6%) medical and 96 (48.4%) nursing students comprising of 57 (28.8%) males and 141 (71.2%) females were interviewed, had similar mean score about the ten steps of BFHI. Female respondents 82.3% had best understood the step 2 (training), as compared to males 80.7%. About step 6 (no supplements) 94.3% females and 86% males had well understood the step. Step 7 (rooming in) was known to 85.8%
females and 54.4% males respectively. Step 9 (no pacifiers) was known to 80.1% females while among males 56.1% were aware. There was statistically significant difference in their knowledge about the steps 2 and 4 (skin to skin), 5 (counseling), 7, and 9 as females were more aware about these steps than males. The least understood steps in medical and nursing students were step 1 (written policy) (15.7%, 15.6%), step 3 (prenatal education) (27.5%, 29.2%), step 8 (cues) (10.8%, 24%) and step ten (community support) (8.8%, 11.5%) respectively.
Conclusions: BFHI is one of the successful international efforts undertaken to promote, protect and support breast feeding. Acquiring knowledge about the same by medical and
nursing students is most crucial tool for better practices by them in the future. Continued medical education, workshops and seminars by lactation specialists in addition to the regular
teaching about BFHI as part of the curriculum may be considered to ensure and update their knowledge about BFHI.
Keywords: Awareness, Baby‑friendly Hospital Initiative, medical students, nursing students

Full Text: