Grandmothers' influence on child care

Indian J Pediatr. 2006 Apr;73(4):295-8. 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

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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child Care* / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family / psychology*
  • Family Relations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nutritional Status
  • Rural Population