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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015, 3(4A), 69-75
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-3-4A-15
Open AccessResearch Article

Reasons for Early or Late Initiation of Complementary Feeding: A Study in Pokhara

Sahisnuta Basnet1, , Brijesh Sathian2, Kalpana Malla1 and Deepak Prasad Koirala1

1Department of Pediatrics, Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara, Nepal

2Department of Community Medicine, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal

Pub. Date: June 26, 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)

Cite this paper:
Sahisnuta Basnet, Brijesh Sathian, Kalpana Malla and Deepak Prasad Koirala. Reasons for Early or Late Initiation of Complementary Feeding: A Study in Pokhara. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2015; 3(4A):69-75. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-3-4A-15


Complementary feeding is introduced into an infant’s diet at 6 months of age because at this age breast milk alone cannot adequately meet the child’s nutritional requirement for their optimal health. This study has been undertaken to assess mothers’ timely introduction of complementary feeding and to determine reasons for its early or delayed initiation. This was a cross sectional hospital based study conducted in Manipal Teaching Hospital, on 700 mothers from October 2013 to October 2014. Data was collected by face to face interview using a structured questionnaire. The mothers' understanding of the recommended time to start complementary feeding, and their actual practiced timing of complementary feeding was inquired. Where applicable, reason for early or late introduction to complementary feeding was determined. Out of the 700 mothers sampled, 544 (77.7%) knew that complementary feeding should be started at 6 months of age but only 359 (50%) were found to be practicing it. The most common cited reasons for early introduction of foods/liquids before the age of 6 months were as follows: “I did not have enough breast milk” (37.1%), “I had to return to my job” (15.1%), and “Relatives said that I should give my baby something other than breast milk” (8.3%). In order to improve infant feeding practices, there is a need for anticipatory guidance for the management of common breastfeeding difficulties. Also, considerations and strategies allowing more flexible working conditions such as improved maternity leave provisions may help mothers remain at home with their infants for longer, alleviating the need for early weaning.

complementary feeding early initiation delayed initiation

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