Infants-feeding practices and their relationship with socio-economic and health conditions in Lahore, Pakistan

Saadia Ijaz, Tayyaba Ijaz, Raja Kamran Afzal, Muhammad Masood Afzal, Osama Mukhtar, Nayab Ijaz


Background: Pakistan, has high infant mortality rate. Among every 1000 live births 0.76% becomes the victim of death due to malnutrition and fatal infections. Therefore, feeding modes and practices may serve as important factors for assessment of an infant's growth and nutritional status. This study was designed to assess the exclusive breast feeding rate, frequency of diseases during breast feeding, status of breast feeding along with weaning, level of education, occupation and socio-economic status of parents.

Methods: In the descriptive and cross-sectional study, a total of one hundred (100) infants were included. The sampling technique was non-probability convenience sampling. This study was conducted at vaccination centers and children clinics in different hospitals in city of Lahore -Pakistan.

Results: The results showed that 67% of the mothers exclusively breastfed their babies. 64% of the mothers had knowledge of exclusive breast feeding. The practice of breast feeding was found as 81% while artificial feeding was practiced among 19% of the mothers. Majority of the mothers started weaning their babies at the age 4 (31%) and 6 months (32%) whereas 28% mothers started after 6 months. 54% of mothers continued breastfeeding along with weaning. 72% of the mothers were aware of the importance of colostrum.

Conclusion: Maternal education and women's employment have been found major determinants for breastfeeding. The result indicates that in Pakistan, mothers receive counseling on breast feeding which is quite satisfactory and feeding practices of infants are found as better in Pakistan.

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