Assessment of Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices and its Relation with Nutritional Status of Under Two Children: A Community Based Study at Malda Town, West Bengal
Keywords:IYCF indicators, Malnutrition, Nutritional status, Stunting
Background: Correct practices of nutrition remains the cornerstone to combat the problem of under nutrition among the children. Most important of them is propriety of breast feeding. Its initiation within an hour of birth is important for both mother and child as the first breast milk (colostrums) is considered to be highly nutritious and has antibodies that protect the new-born from serious diseases. The study was conducted to assess the IYCF practices among the under two children and the relationship between the aforesaid practices and the nutritional status of the study participants of a district town of West Bengal. Methods: It was a community based observational study, cross-sectional in design conducted among children aged less than twenty four months in a district town of West Bengal using cluster sampling method among 390 participants. Results: The study revealed that less than half (47.9%) of mothers initiated breast feeding within one hour of birth. Exclusive breast feeding rate at 6 months was 68.3% and 84.3%mothers were continuing breast feeding at two years age of the child. Optimal diversity of food was seen among 30.3% eligible children. The proportion of underweight and stunting was 40.7% and 43.6% respectively and were significantly related to initiation of breast feeding in one hour, adequate food diversity, adequate meal frequency, age adjusted minimum acceptable diet and exposure to bottle feeding. Conclusion: The study reiterates that appropriate feeding practices in first two years of life are crucial to attain proper growth of the children in their later life.
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