Journal Article

Infant feeding practices in rural Bangladesh: policy implications

S Ahmed, SD Parveen and A Islam

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 45, issue 1, pages 37-41
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI:
Infant feeding practices in rural Bangladesh: policy implications

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Although breastfeeding is almost universal in Bangladesh, proper breastfeeding is on the decline due to several factors. To assess the knowledge and practices of mothers regarding breastfeeding, data were collected from 2105 mothers during May-August 1996 in two rural areas of Bangladesh. The findings show that mothers' knowledge regarding proper breastfeeding is poor. Among all the women interviewed, only 12 per cent stated that the first food for newborns should be colostrum, and 27 per cent knew that exclusive breastfeeding should be given for at least 5 months. In practice, of the 1878 women who had live births, 10 per cent gave colostrum only, while the rest gave pre-lacteal feeds to their infants. Only 15 per cent of the infants were exclusively breastfed at 5 months of age. A significant relationship was found to exist between knowledge and practice of giving colostrum. Also, women between 20 and 24 years of age were more likely to give colostrum as well as to breastfeed exclusively for the first 5 months. Women who had their deliveries attended by medically trained personnel and those who already knew about the appropriate duration of exclusive breastfeeding were also more likely to practice exclusive breastfeeding for the first 5 months. The study suggests that steps should be taken to strengthen further the ongoing breastfeeding programme for improving breastfeeding knowledge and practice in rural Bangladesh.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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