The Population Council conducted a formative study in rural Uttar Pradesh, India to determine the current status of early and exclusive breastfeeding, understand the facilitating factors and barriers in adopting the desired breastfeeding practices, and identify programmatic and behavior change communication (BCC) initiatives to promote the practice. Findings indicate that efforts by Primary Health Centre staff to counsel and encourage women to breastfeed early could significantly increase adoption of this practice. The policy brief identifies barriers that reflect a lack of knowledge and misperceptions about breastfeeding, but finds that education, supportive family members, and knowledgeable health workers can facilitate breastfeeding. The implications for BCC strategy are discussed.
Population Council. 2010. "Increasing early and exclusive breastfeeding in rural Uttar Pradesh: Implications for behavior change communication," Shaping Demand and Practices to Improve Family Health Outcomes in Northern India Policy Brief no. 5. New Delhi: Population Council.
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