Initiation of relactation: an Army Hospital based study of 381 cases


  • Rampal Singh Tomar Department of Paediatrics and Neonatology, Army College of Medical Science, Base Hospital, Delhi Cant 110010, Delhi, India



Breast feeding, Relactation


Background: Exclusive breast feeding continues to deteriorate in our country thereby increasing these infants to devastating illnesses inherent to top feeding. Relactation is an effective intervention to promote breast feeding and can successfully be established in most mothers with motivation and support.

Methods: A prospective hospital based study was conducted over a three year period in mothers with their less than 6 month old infants, admitted for various illnesses associated with lactational failure. Relactation supported by skilled hospital staff was initiated in all infants, as and when their condition permitted. No lactagogoues were used.

Results: There were 381 mother and 387 infants (4 mothers had twins & one had triplets). 239 (62.7%) were primipara, 272 (71.2%) had delivered in the hospital and 246 (64.6%) had given prelacteal feeds. Commonest cause of lactational failure was insignificant milk (53.1%). 88% of the infants were bottlefed and majority was on animal milk. Relactation was attempted in all cases and was successful in 327 (85.8%) but failed in 54 (14.2%) cases. Establishing of lactation ranged from 5 to 28 days. Incidence of failure increased with lactational gap & age of infant.

Conclusions: Relactation is possible in almost all women and is an effective intervention to promote exclusive breast feeding.


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Original Research Articles