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Open Access Determinants of infant and young child feeding practices in Nepal: Secondary data analysis of Demographic and Health Survey 2006

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Background. Childhood undernutrition and mortality are high in Nepal, and therefore interventions on infant and young child feeding practices deserve high priority.

Objective. To estimate infant and young child feeding indicators and the determinants of selected feeding practices.

Methods. The sample consisted of 1,906 children aged 0 to 23 months from the Demographic and Health Survey 2006. Selected indicators were examined against a set of variables using univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results. Breastfeeding was initiated within the first hour after birth in 35.4% of children, 99.5% were ever breastfed, 98.1% were currently breastfed, and 3.5% were bottle-fed. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding among infants under 6 months of age was 53.1%, and the rate of timely complementary feeding among those 6 to 9 months of age was 74.7%. Mothers who made antenatal clinic visits were at a higher risk for no exclusive breastfeeding than those who made no visits. Mothers who lived in the mountains were more likely to initiate breastfeeding within 1 hour after birth and to introduce complementary feeding at 6 to 9 months of age, but less likely to exclusively breastfeed. Cesarean deliveries were associated with delay in timely initiation of breastfeeding. Higher rates of complementary feeding at 6 to 9 months were also associated with mothers with better education and those above 35 years of age. Risk factors for bottle-feeding included living in urban areas and births attended by trained health personnel.

Conclusions. Most breastfeeding indicators in Nepal are below the expected levels to achieve a substantial reduction in child mortality. Breastfeeding promotion strategies should specifically target mothers who have more contact with the health care delivery system, while programs targeting the entire community should be continued.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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