A study of determinants of infant feeding practices in a resettlement colony of Delhi, India
Keywords:Artificial feeding, Exclusive breastfeeding, Initiation of breastfeeding
Background: Optimal infant and young child feeding practices, especially exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, could contribute significantly in reducing childhood malnutrition and improving child survival. The present study is designed to assess the prevalence of feeding practices among the mothers in an urban resettlement colony of Delhi
Methods: A community based cross- sectional study was carried out in a resettlement colony of East Delhi among mothers with infants less than 6 months of age. Mothers were enrolled from Anganwadi Centres using systematic random sampling and a questionnaire was used to record information on feeding practices. Statistical analysis used: Chi square test, t test and multiple logistic regression analysis was done.
Results: A total of 350 children were included. Breastfeeding (BF) was initiated within 1 h of birth in 51.7% of children. Pre-lacteal feeds were given by 18.5% of mothers. The prevalence of exclusive BF (EBF) for less than 6 months was 42% (147/350). One third (117/350) of mothers gave artificial feeding to their infants. Exclusive breastfeeding decreased with increasing age of infants and was significantly lower in families with higher income and who gave pre-lacteal feeding. Similarly, introduction of artificial feeding was significantly higher in families with higher income and working mothersConclusions: In the present study the infant feeding practices in the resettlement colony were not satisfactory. There is need for skilled, sustained and practical help to the pregnant and lactating mothers by skilled counsellors at health facilities.