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Table 6 Case of a woman who was abused; had a malnourished infant and reported practising EBF in an inconsistent manner

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

The mother was a 20-year-old woman, who had undergone 5 abortions, two after the first child and three after the second. She had married against the wishes of her family and was alienated from them. She was separated from her husband due to issues concerning domestic abuse. She believed that both, she and her kids, were weak because of the repeated abortions she had to undergo.
The mother felt that she had not been able to take care of her children due to the tensed atmosphere at home, and frequent quarrels with her husband. When frustrated, she often left home abruptly, leaving the baby unattended. During such times, the baby had been given neither breastmilk nor substitutes. In her words:
“When his father used to fight with me, I would take the anger out on the baby. I didn’t give him milk, I didn’t give him a massage. I feel I should not have done this, what fault of the baby is it?”
The woman reported exclusively breastfeeding the infant, that is, giving the infant nothing except her milk but she also acknowledged that she did not breastfeed consistently.