Reasons for not Practising Exclusive Breastfeeding for the first Six Months in Urban Slums of Delhi


  • University of Delhi, Institute of Home Economics, New Delhi, India


The estimates of global burden of malnutrition in under five children are that 178 million (one third of all children) are stunted, 112 million are underweight, 55 million are wasted (19 million having severe acute malnutrition) and 13 million children are born each year with intrauterine growth retardation 1 . Identifying and understanding the causes of malnutrition among the most vulnerable groups is crucial in order to design an effective strategy. The link between malnutrition and sub-optimal infant and young child feeding has been well established. According to the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, Malnutrition has been responsible, directly or indirectly, for about 60 per cent of the deaths annually among children under five. Well over two-third of these deaths, which are associated with inappropriate feeding practices occur during first year of life. The National Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding point out that malnutrition among children occurs almost entirely during the first two years of life and is virtually irreversible thereafter; child mortality is thus closely linked with malnutrition and inappropriate infant/ child feeding. Optimal infant and young child feeding includes early REASONS FOR NOT PRACTISING EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS IN URBAN SLUMS OF DELHI VANDANA SABHARWAL AND SANTOSH JAIN PASSI (Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, F-4 Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi) (Received 29 th October, 2013) initiation of breastfeeding; exclusive breastfeeding for the first six month of life followed by continued breastfeeding for upto two years and beyond with adequate complementary foods is the most appropriate feeding strategy for infants and young children.

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