Effects of community-based interventions on exclusive breastfeeding among lactating women: a systematic review

Harshita Misra, C. Shivani, Barkha Sirwani, Ritu Rana


Improvement in the exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates until 6 months have been proved to be a major contributor in the improvement of child survival over last two decades because EBF provides optimal nutrition for early life. However, most of the low-income countries (LIC) and low-middle income countries (LMIC) are below the 90% benchmark set by World Health Organization. Evidence regarding CBIs for EBF among lactating women with infants <6 m was searched in PubMed and Cochrane library. Studies from LICs and LMICs that reported EBF until 6 months as outcomes were included and their results were analysed. Data extraction included characteristics of the studies and full summary that involved the effect of interventions on the outcomes. Of 5,530 studies initially identified, 25 studies were included for the systematic review. The interventions were community-based that focused on breastfeeding practices among lactating women with infants <6 m. The studies were geographically diverse-involved LICs (n=7) and LMICs (n=11). The population ranged from n=12 to 26,262. Of 25 studies, five types of interventions reported- counselling interventions (n=14), training to peer counsellors (n=2), mass media interventions (n=5), mobile phone Interventions (n=1), and EBF promotion and education (n=3). CBIs could substantially increase the rates of EBF. The review identified five types of CBIs, indicating that there are different ways through which high EBF rates could be achieved. Counselling intervention was more effective but other interventions have also shown significant results in improving BF practices.


Community based interventions, Infants under 6 months, Lactating women, EBF practices

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