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“The battle of feeding”: Awareness and practices of responsive complementary feeding in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka - a qualitative study

Authors:

U W N K Dharmasoma,

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
About U W N K

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.

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S S Senevirathne,

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
About S S
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
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N Karunamuni,

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
About N
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
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R M M Rathnayaka,

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
About R M M
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
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P W P W K. Pallewatta,

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
About P W P W K.
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
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T C Agampodi

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka., LK
About T C
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

Background: Responsive feeding (RF) is an evidence-based behaviour in complementary feeding. Although included in the infant feeding guidelines of Sri Lanka, it is doubtful whether knowledge and practices entailed to RF is established in the Sri Lankan community.  

Objectives: To explore the knowledge and practices of RF among mothers having nine month old infants and to explore attitudes of PHMs towards the concept.

Method: A qualitative study was conducted using in-depth interviews among caregivers of infants aged nine months and focused group discussions among public health midwives of Nuwaragam Palatha Central area in Anuradhapura district, Sri Lanka. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and thematic analysis was performed.

Results: None of the mothers effectively practised the full concept of RF. Only a few mothers have prepared a separate feeding place. Although signals of hunger and satiety were identified, most mothers did not use them in an appropriate manner in feeding. Letting the child watch television and taking the child round the garden were common suboptimal practices. Mothers stated the difficulty in introducing new food to their children indicating lack of reciprocity between them and children. The public health midwives also had poor understanding on total concept of RF.

Conclusions: PHMs and mothers having nine month old infants have poor understanding and practices on the concept of RF.   
How to Cite: Dharmasoma, U.W.N.K., Senevirathne, S.S., Karunamuni, N., Rathnayaka, R.M.M., Pallewatta, P.W.P.W.K. and Agampodi, T.C., 2020. “The battle of feeding”: Awareness and practices of responsive complementary feeding in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka - a qualitative study. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 49(1), pp.8–16. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v49i1.8891
Published on 05 Mar 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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