Study was conducted for the evaluation of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding to achieve the following objectives; to see the impact of exclusive breastfeeding on the initiation of the lactation, to evaluate the awareness of the mothers about breast-feeding, to see the effect of antenatal counseling about protecting, promoting and supporting breast-feeding and to see the effect of socioeconomic status on breast-feeding. A representative sample of 300 lactating women from the rural and urban areas with different socioeconomic status were included from Mian Moula Bux Hospital, MCH Clinic, and Private Hospitals in Sargodha District.
A total of 165 male infants and 135 female infants were studied. The results revealed that male infants were given more importance about breast-feeding practices in the community.
Initiation of lactation was found delayed in all the study population. About 6.7% infants were put to breast-feeding soon after birth within half an hour. The median time of initiation was between 6-24 hours. However 24.7% infants did not receive mother milk at the age between 24-48 hours. Prelacteal feed was given to every infant because it was the norm of community. Honey appeared to be the most common prelacteal feed through out the population, and it was more practiced in the urban class (59.3%) than the rural class (42%). On the other hand, the use of Ghutti was more common in the rural side (32%), while in the urban the figure was only 20.0%. Other type of prelacteal feed, such as Arq, Sugar, water and milk was given to very few infants. Practice of giving colostrum was equal in both the communities as 16.0%. As per socioeconomic distribution, the honey was used 74%, 60%, and 44% in upper, middle and lower class respectively in the urban slums. While in the rural area, upper, middle and lower class used 52%, 44%, 30% respectively honey for their infants. Use of Ghutti was more common in the lower urban and rural class. Use of colostrum was 26% in the urban middle class and 10% in the rural middle class as compared to other groups where it was not more common. Most of the infants received breast milk as 1st feed i.e. 90.3% and 90% from the urban slums and 94% from the rural side. The ratio of breast-feeding decreased as the age of infants increased to 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th months. The method of feed administration was bottle-feeding (29.7%), cups and spoon (11.7%) while breast-feeding practices were 58.7. The results of the present study revealed that exclusive breast-feeding practice was rare as most of the mothers were illiterate. Half of the infants had been put to bottle-feeding after the 1st month of their age. Most of infants were introduced to formula or animal milk during 1st month of their age. Mothers though visited the hospital for antenatal care but were not being counseled specially about breast-feeding. However media/education in the urban community and grandmother’s education from the rural community were common.