Early initiation of breastfeeding among recently delivered mothers in a rural area of Moradabad, India

Neha Goyal


Background: Early initiation of breastfeeding defined by World Health Organization as initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth, provides new-borns the best chance for survival, growth and development. Yet the rates of early initiation are still low (41.5%), varying widely in different parts of India. Present study was done to find the proportion of early initiation of breastfeeding and associated factors in a rural area.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 73 recently delivered mothers residing in a rural area of Moradabad, who were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire with early initiation of breastfeeding as outcome variable. For statistical analysis Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used.

Results: 61.64% recently delivered mothers responded that they had initiated breastfeeding within one hour of delivery. Early initiation was significantly lower among working mothers as compared to housewives. No significant differences in timely initiation have been found with mother age, religion and type of family. However significant association of early initiation was found between full antenatal care (ANC) and breastfeeding counselling.

Conclusions: More than sixty percent mothers initiated breastfeeding within an hour of delivery. Full ANC and breastfeeding counselling can help in improving rates of early initiation.



Breastfeeding, Early initiation, Rural, India

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