Prelacteal Feeding Practices in Pakistan: A Mixed-Methods Study

Muhammad Asim
Yasir Nawaz, University of Sargodha
Mark D. Hayward, University of Texas at Austin
Elizabeth Widen, University of Texas at Austin

Prelacteal feeding–feeding a newborn substances and liquids other than breast milk after birth-is a common cultural practice in Pakistan.The aim of this study was to examine social and cultural factors associated with prelacteal feeding in Pakistani children under two years of age. This mixed method study is based on the PDHS 2012-13, and a qualitative study of mothers and health care providers. In multivariate logistic regression models, children born at public health facilities, mothers with primary education, delayed breastfeeding with one hour, and first born child were more likely to give prelacteals. From the qualitative analyses, major factors associated with prelacteal feedings included the easy availability of prelacteals at medical stores, staff involvement with prelacteal feeding, myths about colostrum, perceived perception of insufficient breast milk, traditional way of the Holy Prophet, and prelacteals as a family tradition for socialization. Immediate policy need to be implement to discourage the prelacteal feeding in Pakistan.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography