Published: 2019-05-28

Identification of factors determining the initiation of breastfeeding in postnatal women in a tertiary care centre: an observational study

Manisha Gupta, Neelima Agarwal, Alpana Agrawal


Background: The WHO recommends that mothers worldwide to initiate breastfeeding within an hour of delivery to achieve optimal growth, development and health but the breastfeeding rates remain far below the recommended standards. The aim of this study was to find the prevalence of delay in initiation of breast feeding, to identify various factors which determine the initiation of breastfeeding and to correlate their association with delayed onset of breast feeding.

Methods: Hundred and thirty six postnatal women, who delivered in Santosh Medical College and Hospital, Ghaziabad, were recruited in the study. They were interviewed after their informed consent using a pretested structured questionnaire. Socio-demographic and obstetric factors were compared between subjects who initiated breast feeding in less than and more than 1 hours. Frequencies were calculated for different variables. Data was statistically analyzed and p value of <0.05 was taken significant.

Results: The prevalence of delay in initiation of breast feeding in our study was found to be 74.2% (n=101).The mean time of initiation of breast feeding was 18.43 hours. Significant association (p <0.05) was found in various sociodemographic, obstetrical and social factors.

Conclusions: Identifying mothers at risk of delayed breastfeeding initiation should be the target for breastfeeding promotion during prenatal, antenatal as well as postnatal period. Public health officials and health care providers should consider interventions to promote and support early initiation of breast feeding.


Breast feeding, Early initiation of breast feeding, Postnatal, Prelacteal feed

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