Knowledge of Breastfeeding and Kangaroo Mother Care Practices Among General Practitioners in Rural Western India

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Pediatrics; Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Pediatrics | Translational Medical Research


BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding and Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) are interventions to reduce neonatal mortality and undernutrition. We investigated the knowledge of allopathic and Ayurvedic, Yoga-naturopathy, Siddha, and Homeopathic (AYUSH) general practitioners in rural western India and identified attributes associated with awareness and knowledge on these topics.

METHODS: This cross-sectional study of general practitioners in the Anand district of Gujarat, India, used an anonymous self-reported survey. Multivariable regression models were used to identify practitioner attributes associated with awareness and knowledge.

RESULTS: Among the 158 respondents, a quarter (26.0%) were trained in allopathic medicine and 63.0% had practiced for 5 years or more. The average score of breastfeeding knowledge was 8.0 of 13. Most (79.1%) did not have any awareness of KMC. After adjusting for potential confounders, knowledge of breastfeeding practices among AYUSH practitioners was 4-fold greater than that of allopathic practitioners (incidence rate ratio: 3.9; 95% CI: 3.2-4.6). By contrast, AYUSH practitioners had 80% decreased odds of awareness about KMC compared with allopathic practitioners (odds ratio: 0.2; 95% CI: 0.1-0.3).

DISCUSSION: This study demonstrates distinct knowledge gaps among allopathic and AYUSH general practitioners regarding breastfeeding and KMC. There is a need for tailored continuing medical education among general practitioners to enhance their clinical knowledge of newborn care practices to achieve improvements in neonatal health.


UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Fahey N, Sadhwani N, Shethwala S, Allison J, Soni A, Nimbalkar S. Knowledge of Breastfeeding and Kangaroo Mother Care Practices Among General Practitioners in Rural Western India. Food Nutr Bull. 2021 Sep;42(3):460-463. doi: 10.1177/03795721211026520. Epub 2021 Jun 24. PMID: 34165020. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Food and nutrition bulletin

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID