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Table 4 How an adverse event in a woman’s life induced her to defy family norms, listen to medical advice and practice EBF

From: “Everybody breastfeeds if they have milk”: factors that shape exclusive breastfeeding practices in informal settlements of Mumbai, India

This case was of a 31-year-old woman with three children. She had lost two of her children in infancy. She attributed this loss to listening to poor advice from family on breastfeeding.
She had given birth to her first child in a rural area and post-delivery, she had to do many household chores. She felt very tired at night. Seeing this, her sister-in-law had advised her to start bottle feeding the infant when it had been only 15 days of age. Following the bottle feeds, the baby had succumbed to frequent episodes of diarrhea and had died. She had thereafter migrated to Mumbai and had been blessed with a second child. The second child had been fed minced almonds on the advice of a relative who had felt that the child was very thin. This child had also died. The second loss made the woman determined not to follow advice given by her family. In her own words,
From then, I made a decision, not to give my infant anything. I go to the doctor, whatever he says, I follow that. My husband shouts a lot, my family says something or the other. .. do this and do that. But I don’t listen to them, only to the doctor. I had made up my mind”
She believes now she had made the right decision in listening only to the doctor’s advice on EBF. Now she has three children. The mother also felt that migration to Mumbai helped her since it eased her workload. Also, staying away from her family reduced interference from her relatives, which enabled her to follow medical advice more easily.