Socio-Economic Differential in Breastfeeding Status and its Impact on Child Health in India: Evidence from NFHS-3
- Country : India
- Subject : Community Medicine by Population Studies
Background: Breast milk provides all the nutrients an infant needs during the first few months of life, as well as immunological agents that protect against disease. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. Globally, less than 40% of infants below six months of age are exclusively breastfed.
Objective: This study is an attempt to present the comparable results on breastfeeding differentials in India and Bangladesh using DHS data. It is also being tried to compare the prevalence of selected diseases in infants according to their breastfeeding status.
Method: This study has included six outcome variables namely exclusive breastfeeding, predominant breastfeeding, partial breastfeeding, acute respiratory infection, diarrhoea, fever. Bivariate analyses, Chi-square test and binary logistic regression models were used.
Findings: Predominant and exclusive breastfeeding shows protective effect with the childhood diseases. The birth order of the child, place of delivery and delivery method has a significant effect on breastfeeding practices in selected countries.
Conclusion: Although the breastfeeding is universal in South Asia, but the practice of exclusive and predominant breastfeeding need to be promoted, it may significantly reduce childhood morbidity and mortality and improve the overall health situation of infants.