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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 16-19

Time to initiation of breastfeeding among newborns in the postnatal ward of a tertiary care hospital

Department of Community Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shantibala Konjengbam
Department of Community Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.158922

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Background: Breast milk is the ideal food for a normal infant. Growing evidence points to the impact of early initiation of breastfeeding on neonatal mortality. Neonatal and postneonatal deaths were around five to six times lower in those infants who were fed colostrum than those who were not. Objectives: The study was conducted to determine the time to initiation of breastfeeding in the postnatal ward of a tertiary care hospital. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from August 2013 to October 2013 among the mothers in the postnatal ward of a tertiary care hospital. The sample size was calculated based on a prevalence rate of 50%, with an allowable error of 6% at 95% confidence level. Assuming a nonresponse rate of 10%, the calculated sample size was 304. A pretested semistructured interview schedule was used for data collection. Ethical approval was taken from the Ethics Subcommittee of the institute. Results: A total of 303 mothers were studied. Only seven (2.3%) mothers gave prelacteal feeds to their newborns. Of the 303 mothers, 35 (11.6%) discarded colostrum and only 53 (17.5%) initiated breastfeeding within 1 h of delivery. Colostrum was given more by the literate mothers than the illiterate ones, and the finding was statistically significant. More mothers from nuclear families initiated breastfeeding within the 1st h of delivery as compared to those from joint families. Majority of the mothers did not receive advice on breastfeeding during antenatal visits and almost all the mothers were not told about positioning and attachment. Conclusion: Even though practices like avoidance of prelacteal feeding and feeding of colostrum were good in this study, the practice of early initiation was quite low. The support system prevailing in the hospital was also unsatisfactory. These observations will help in planning strategies for the promotion of breastfeeding to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality in the community.

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