Exclusive breastfeeding in India: An ultimate need of infants
Breastfeeding is a general method of providing nutritional supplements to young infants and child by breast milk. Early initiation of breastfeeding is very important for the infants. Breastfeeding is the cheapest and simplest method of fulfilling the nutritional needs of infant. Poor infant feeding practices and its effects is an obstacle in desirable growth and development of the infant. Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) is a method of providing only breast milk to infant up to 6 months age. There are lots of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which affect EBF.
The prevalence of EBF is too low at global level. In the world, prevalence of EFB is 30-50% but it is 54.9% in India. The cultural, religious and geographic differences create wide range of EBF in India and it’s around 35.8-77.2%. The Exclusive breastfeeding is effective in decline the incidence of communicable and non-communicable diseases among infants which reduce the morbidity and mortality among infants.
The prevalence of EBF is below the proposed level so there is a need of effective breastfeeding program in India. Special focus is needed in the area where prevalence of EBF is poor. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) revealed that there is a positive trend in India towards EBF. Social support and EBF program are needed to develop a positive attitude towards EBF and it will change the current scenario and reduce the disease burden among infants.
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