Weaning Practices and Perceptions of Mothers Residing in Urban Slums of Lahore, Pakistan: A Focus Group Design

Shafya Salim, Samia Kalsoom, Ayesha Humayun


Objectives:  Current study aimed to explore the perceptions and practices about weaning among mothers of children from 6 months to 2 years of age.

Method:  An exploratory qualitative research using methodology of focus group discussions (FGD) was conducted on mothers of 6 months to 2 years of age children in urban slums of Lahore. Perceptions and practices of mothers regarding weaning foods were explored through 3 FGDs (n = 30) conducted in the Government dispensaries in 3 conveniently selected slum areas of Lahore. FGDs were audiotaped and noted followed by transcription, coding and thematic analysis.

Results:  Themes from FGD showed that mothers’ perceptions were poor about the initiation time of weaning, types, quality, frequency and amount of weaning foods. Practice of initiation of weaning varied from 3rd month to 12th months. Despite of the economic concerns almost all mothers preferred instantly prepared foods available in the market. Commonly used weaning foods included processed, dried, packed, instant snacks, breads, cereals, chips and noodles available in market. All mothers were not interested in preparing weaning foods at home. Most of the mothers experienced diarrhea in their infants quite frequently.

Conclusion:  Perceptions and practices of weaning in mothers are both poor and inadequate regarding time of initiation of weaning, age-appropriate quantity, quality and frequency of weaning. Measures should be taken to improve their perceptions and practices because improper weaning determines nutritional status of child in future years of development.



Key words: Focus group discussion, Weaning, perception.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21649/akemu.v22i4.1468


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(C) Annals of KEMU, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, Pakistan.