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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-34

Pre-lacteal feeding practices and associated factors in Himachal Pradesh

1 Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Anupam Parashar
Department of Community Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.200205

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BACKGROUND: Prelacteal feeds are dangerous for newborn health and thus should not be given. Studying the enabling factors of this harmful practice can help determine ways of how to get rid of it. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: This study aims to assess the pattern of prelacteal feeding in a district of Himachal Pradesh and to study its predictive factors. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 200 mothers attending Anganwadi centers in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Data were obtained by trained field investigator using a pretested interview schedule. In-depth interviews were held to find out the reasons for providing prelacteal feeds. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Data were analyzed using Epi Info software for windows (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta). Logistic regressions were used to find out the adjusted odds ratios (AORs) for factors associated with the practice of giving prelacteal feed. RESULTS: The prevalence of prelacteal feeding was 49.5% (confidence interval [CI] = 42.5%–56.4%). In logistic regression analysis, living in joint family (AOR = 2.5, CI = 1.3–4.9) and higher socioeconomic status (AOR = 3.8, CI = 1.1–13.1) were positively associated with prelacteal feeding practice. Mothers who delivered by cesarean section were more likely to give prelacteal feeds to their baby (AOR = 3.4, CI = 1.3–8.8) as compared to those who delivered by normal vaginal delivery. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that prelacteal feeding is commonly practiced in both urban and rural areas of Shimla hills of Himachal Pradesh. Child health programs in the study area should use behavior change communication to decrease the harmful practice of giving prelacteal feeds to newborns.

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