A cross sectional study on early initiation of breastfeeding among mothers in Chennai city


  • Anaiappan Jeyakumar Department of Community Medicine, Government Stanley Medical College, Chennai, India
  • Kuberan Deivasigamani ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Chennai, India




Child survival, Early initiation, Social support


Background: The practice of breast feeding is the best intervention in promoting child survival. The success depends on early initiation of breast feeding soon after birth. Globally a three fifth of new born wait for more than one hour to begin breast feeding, despite the fact that the practice will extremely reduce neonatal infections and maternal postpartum complications. In this context, the objectives of the study was to estimate the prevalence of early initiation of breastfeeding and barriers in non-initiation of early breast feeding among recently delivered mothers at Chennai.

Methods: This cross sectional study was conducted in Zone VI of Chennai. Four hundred and fifty (450) delivered a term, live baby with in past 1 year were selected by using simple random technique. Pre-tested structured interview schedule was used to collect data.

Results: Among the study group, 54.4% mothers initiated breast feeding within first one hour after delivery. Delay in handing over the baby to the mother (43.9%), maternal complications (19%), neonatal complications (14.1%), Caesarean section (17.6%), and misconception of insufficiency of milk secretion (5.4%) were barriers in non-initiation of early breast feeding.

Conclusions: The study explains the prevalence and importance of early initiation of breast feeding. Avoidance of pre lacteal feeds. Promotions of breast milk substitutes and commercial products should be restricted. Co-ordination between the health care providers and mothers must be strengthened. Maternal education plays a vital role in clarifying the ignorance and misconceptions. Emotional and social support influences mothers to initiate it early.

Author Biographies

Anaiappan Jeyakumar, Department of Community Medicine, Government Stanley Medical College, Chennai, India

Associate Professor
Department of Community Medicine

Kuberan Deivasigamani, ESIC Medical College and PGIMSR, Chennai, India

Associate Professor
ESIC Medical College & PGIMSR


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How to Cite

Jeyakumar, A., & Deivasigamani, K. (2020). A cross sectional study on early initiation of breastfeeding among mothers in Chennai city. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 7(9), 3512–3517. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20203915



Original Research Articles