Gripe Water Administration in Infants 1-6 months of Age-A Cross-sectional Study

J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Nov;9(11):SC06-8. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2015/13727.6738. Epub 2015 Nov 1.

Abstract

Introduction: Gripe water (GW) administration to young infants is common practice in this part of country. In order to ascertain why mothers administer gripe water to their infants and to find out what benefits or health risks it poses, we proposed to study the practice of mothers giving GW to their babies.

Materials and methods: Three hundred and thirty five eligible mothers of infants aged 1-6 months (who after qualifying inclusion and exclusion criteria of the study) who attended the well baby clinic during the study period, were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire which contained both open and close ended questions after obtaining informed written consent. The study population was then divided into two groups based on administration of GW or not and the results were compared and analysed among the two groups using odds ratio with 95% C.I. For calculation of statistics, the statistical package SPSS 13 was used.

Results: 64.18% of the mothers were administering GW for their infants. Most mothers believed that GW helps in digestion and prevents stomach ache. Infantile colic, vomiting and constipation were common in GW administered infants, when compared to those who did not receive GW and the difference was significant with p-values of 0.0001, 0.0373, 0.0007respectively.

Conclusion: GW administration is a common problem in infants and remains a significant challenge that thwarts exclusive breast feeding. More over GW administration does not seem to prevent infantile colic and on the other hand, may be associated with vomiting and constipation. Misconceptions prevailing among mothers have to be removed by effective counseling so that the mothers are aware of safe and healthy feeding practices to be adopted for feeding their babies.

Keywords: Breast milk; Breastfeeding; National Family Health Survey.