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IJHSR. 2015; 5(5): 54-59

Determinants of Breast Feeding Practices and Nutritional Status of Infants Under Six Months in A Rural MCH Clinic of Hooghly District, West Bengal.

Amitava Kumar, Aparajita Dasgupta, Sudipto Das, Sanjaya Kumar Sahoo, Malay Kumar Das, Dhiraj Biswas, P S Preeti.

Introduction: Exclusive breast feeding in early infancy is fundamental for survival, growth and development of infants. Breast milk not only provides all the nutritional requirements of the infants in exact proportions but also provides immunoglobulins and other protective factors to shield them from infections. WHO advocates exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of life.
Objectives: To assess the breast feeding practices and its determinants and also to elicit any association between exclusive breast feeding and growth pattern of children below six months.
Methodology: An observational, cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted among infants below six months attending MCH clinic in a rural health centre of West Bengal. Anthropometric measurements were made following standard operative procedures.
Results: A total of 123 infants were assessed, most of them coming from Prasadís social class II, III and IV. 87.8% were exclusively breast fed.80.5% had early initiation of breast feeding and in 95.1% cases newborns received colostrum. No pre- lacteal feeds were administered in 90.2% cases. 51.2% children were fed on demand while 48.8% were fed at regular intervals. Age OR 8.25(CI 1.83-37.09), Education of mother OR 4.42(1.44-13.57), PCI OR 8.48 (CI 2.38-30.39), Exclusive breast feeding OR 63.70(CI 12.54-323.39) were significantly associated with nutritional status.
Conclusion: Proper breast feeding practices is one of foremost preventive intervention in bringing down childhood morbidity and mortality. While many mothers have resorted to correct breast feeding practices, a dearth of knowledge in some of the domains among few others need to be resolved at the earliest.

Key words: Exclusive breast feeding, early initiation, colostrum, pre-lacteal feeds.

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