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Natl Med J India. 2012 Jul-Aug;25(4):201-6.

Impact of feeding and breastfeeding practices on the nutritional status of infants in a district of Andhra Pradesh, India.

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Division of Community Studies, National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Jamai-Osmania PO, Tarnaka, Hyderabad 500007, Andhra Pradesh, India.



Infant feeding practices have a major role in determining the nutritional status of children and are associated with household socioeconomic and demographic factors. We did a cross-sectional household study to assess feeding practices of infants and young children in rural areas of Medak district, Andhra Pradesh.


A total of 805 child-mother pairs were included using systematic random sampling. Age-specific feeding patterns were described using frequencies, proportions and survival analysis. Logistic regression was done with feeding practice as dependent and sociodemographic factors as independent variables.


Breastfeeding was universal in the study area. Only 22% of mothers initiated breastfeeding within one hour whereas 44% initiated it within three hours after delivery. The median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 5.5 months. Pre-lacteal use was high (44.7%). Only 41% of infants were exclusively breastfed for 6 months and 58% of infants (6-11 months) received complementary feeding at 6-9 months of age. Timely initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months was significantly more likely among mothers belonging to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.10-0.76 and OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.08-0.76). Timely initiation of complementary feeding was more likely among scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.11-0.54).


Early initiation of breastfeeding (within an hour of birth) and other feeding practices were associated with community, type of family and education of mother. Efforts are needed to promote early initiation of breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and age-appropriate complementary feeding among infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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