Breastfeeding perception among Medical students of Islamic International Medical College (IIMC) in relation to COVID-19 pandemic
Introduction: Breastfeeding is crucial for the development & growth of the infant in the early years of life. Unfortunately, the incidence of breastfeeding is very low in our part of the world. Doctors play a critical role in the public awareness of the benefits & importance of breastfeeding. This study is done to find out the perception, knowledge and attitude of medical students about breastfeeding and its implications during COVID 19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Islamic International Medical College (IIMC) from 10 November 2021 to 30 November 2021. An online questionnaire was sent to the students of MBBS from first to final year via email. Results were analyzed on SPSS version 21.
Results: A total of 316 students participated. The majority of students were aware of the initiation, duration and advantages of breastfeeding. 88% of students answered that breast milk is an ideal food for a baby. 77.2% had the perception that breastfeeding increases mother-infant bonding. 71.51% of students answered that breastfed babies have fewer health-related issues compared to formula-fed babies. 40 % of students were of the idea that there is a risk of transmission of COVID 19 from mother to baby if breastfed fed while 42% believed that breastfeeding protects against COVID 19.
Conclusion: The majority of the students of IIMC were aware of the benefits of breastfeeding but most of them lacked knowledge of breastfeeding by mothers suffering from COVID 19. The medical curriculum should have more emphasis on nutrition counselling for both mothers and children and information regarding breastfeeding particularly during situations like COVID 19 pandemic.
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