Sharma, M. & Kanani, S. Indian J Pediatr (2006) 73: 295. doi:10.1007/BF02825822
Objective: This paper compares child care-giving and child's nutritional status among rural families where grandmothers were present and those where grandmothers were absent. Methods: From 27 villages in rural Vadodara, four were randomly selected and all the families (n=31) with children (3–24 months) where grandmothers were present (GMP) were compared with 39 families where grandmothers were absent (GMA). Semi structured questionnaires were used to assess beliefs-practices of mothers and grandmothers regarding breastfeeding and complementary feeding (BF-CF). Nutrient intake of the children and nutritional status were measured using standard procedures.Results: Some deleterious practices were present in a similar proportion of both GMP and GMA groups: giving prelacteals, delaying initiation of BF, exclusive breastfeeding <3 months and delaying initiation of CF. Favorable practices present in significantly more GMP were: active feeding and use of anganwadi services. Grandmother’s help enabled mother to practice more care-giving behaviors. However, children in both the groups had low calorie intake (<40% RDA) and a high prevalence of under nutrition: 56–64% (Weight-for-Age z score <−2).Conclusion: Role of family members in childcare and the benefits of including them in interventions to improve child survival, health and nutrition status need to be further researched.
Grandmothers' support Complementary feeding Breastfeeding