To asses the prevailing breastfeeding and infant feeding practices in rural areas.
Stratified sampling method in a community based study.
1050 infants from 0-24 months of age.
The timely first suckling rate was 0.3%. All the infants received prelacteal feeds. Colostrum was rejected by 29% of mothers. Delayed initiation of breastfeeding was common; 35% of babies were not breast-fed even at 48 h of birth. Exclusive breastfeeding was noted in 94% at 1 mo, 83.5% at 2 mo, 72.5% at 3 mo, 61.2% at 4 mo, 43.4% at 5 mo and 26.8% at 6 mo age. Timely complementary feeding rate was 57.3% among infants from 6 to 10 mo age. Continued breastfeeding rate was 99.7% at 1 year and 87.2% at 2 years. The bottle feeding rate was 49.4% among infants below 1 year age. The ever breast-fed rate was 97.0% and the median duration of breastfeeding was beyond 24 months.
Bottle feeding is quite prevalent even in rural areas and the infant feeding practices are far from satisfactory.