First Feed in Newborn : are We Following Who Recommendations?

  • Syed Muhammad Javed Iqbal
  • Muhammad Faheem Afzal
  • Iqbal Ahmad Azhar
  • Muhammad Ashraf Sultan


Background: World Health Organization (WHO) recommends initiation of breastfeeding within half an hour after birth and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Pakistan is facing a high infant mortality rate. This high mortality rate is mostly due to preventable causes. Lack of optimum breastfeeding practices is a major contributory factor to the high mortality rate. Objective: To study the maternal attitude and practices in initiation of newborn feeding Study design: Descriptive study Setting: Department of Paediatrics, King Edward Medical University/ Mayo Hospital, Lahore. Duration: Six months (July to Dec 2009). Subjects and Methods: After consent from mothers, 1000 lactating mothers (having children less than two years of age) were enrolled and interviewed. Those mothers were excluded from the study whose babies got neonatal admission immedi-ately after birth due to any reason. Information was recorded on a structured pretested proforma. Results: Out of 1000 newborn, 572 (57.2%) were male and 428 (42.8%) females. Out of total, 418 (41.8%) babies were given colostrum as first feed. Among the prelacteals given, 15.6% were given honey, followed by formula milk (13.5%), ghutti (12.3%), araq (11.2%) water and sugar (2.7%), animal milk (2.1%) and other feed like desi ghee, fruit juices (0.8%) etc. Among 572 male and 428 female newborns, 223 (22.3%) and 195 (19.5%) were fed colostrum as first feed respectively. Gender bias was found to be statistically insignificant (p value 0.34). Out of 1000 who fed colostrums, 24.6% had health edu-cation by health personal, 9.3 had personal religious belief, 5.4% got motivation from relatives/friends, while 2.5% got health education from media. Out of total who were started with prelacteals, 31.8% got influenced by their elders, 17.2% did not breastfed their babies due to medical reasons, 7.3% could not fed their baby with colostrums due to ignorance, while 1.9% were unable to feed their babies due to other reasons (working women etc). Gender bias was found to be statistically insigni-ficant for reasons of giving colostrum or prelacteals. Conclusion: Although there is increase in percentage of mothers who are giving colostrums as first feed to their newborn but still prelacteal feed is common practice. It can be successfully improved by motivating the mothers and families for optimum breast feeding practices by using electronic media, holding seminars and by involving the public representatives at gross root level. Key words: Colostrum, breastfeed, prelacteal feed.
How to Cite
IQBAL, Syed Muhammad Javed et al. First Feed in Newborn : are We Following Who Recommendations?. Annals of King Edward Medical University, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 4, p. 229, may 2011. ISSN 2079-0694. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 dec. 2017. doi:

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