Published: 2022-05-25

Exclusive breastfeeding practice and type of illness among exclusive breastfeeding children less than 2 years of age: a study in a tertiary care hospital, Rajshahi, Bangladesh

Nur A. Zannat, M. Belal Uddin, Laila S. Sharmin, M. Tariqul I. Khan, M. Masudul H. Khan


Background: Exclusive breastfeeding can be defined as a practice whereby the infants receive only breast milk and not even water, other liquids, tea, herbal preparations, or food during the first six months of life, with the exception of vitamins, mineral supplements, or medicines. The aim of the study was to observe exclusive breastfeeding practice and type of illness among exclusively breastfed children under two years of age in Bangladesh.

Methods: This descriptive study was conducted at the outpatient department of Rajshahi medical college hospital, Rajshahi, Bangladesh during the period from April 2017 to April 2018. The total number of children in this study was 312. Data was collected via standard questionnaire, mother interview, and anthropometric measurements such as weight, height, MUAC, and dietary history of both mother and children. Data were analyzed by SPSS software.

Result: In this study, 87.18% (272) of respondents replied to the questionnaires, but 12.8% of respondents did not answer the required questions. From the total number of children, 35.12% completed their immunization, 63.17% had an ongoing immunization schedule. Only 1.71% of children did not receive any immunization. At the time of the study, 63.6% of respondents had positive feedback on the early initiation of breast milk within 1 hour. After 6 months of age, it was observed that 83.3% of respondents continued breastfeeding along with other food. 60.6% of respondents have completed at the proper time of weaning (6-7 months). 15.63% have early weaning food.

Conclusions: Among exclusively breastfed babies, initiation within 24 hours was higher. Observing the type of illness, it was seen that most of the children had cough and cold and some had respiratory tract infections, diarrhoea, fever and other diseases.


Breastfeeding, Exclusive, Children, Illness, Immunization, Pneumonia

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