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BANGLADESH

Promoting the use of appropriate infant and young child feeding practices is particularly relevant in Bangladesh as the population is young, growing and subject to a high burden of preventable infectious diseases and malnutrition.

OUR FINDINGS: 

  • Almost all infants had recent (24 hours) or past history of breastfeeding.

  • Less than one-third of all newborns were breastfed in the first hour after birth, indicating that a considerable proportion had been given either nothing or prelacteal feed in the immediate post-partum period. The practice of offering non-breastmilk feeds alongside breastmilk appears common throughout infancy.

  • There is an increasing trend towards bottle feeding and use of infant formula.

  • Less than two-thirds of infants aged 6–9 months (appropriate age for commencement of complementary feeds) received appropriate complementary feeds.

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: 

  • Up-skilling traditional birth attendants and training peer counsellors to support new mothers towards improved infant feeding practices.

  • Legislative action to discourage formula feeding and facilitate breastfeeding in the workplace.

  • Further research to address gaps in our knowledge of complementary feeding practices.