Care practices during pregnancy, infant feeding practices and their association with nutritional status of infants in Gujarat, India
Background: Infant feeding practices plays an important role in nutritional status of children. Aims & Objectives: To assess ante-natal care, delivery and infant feeding practices and their association with nutritional status. Material & Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was carried out in all the districts using systematic random sampling. Information was collected from the selected household on socio-demographic, delivery and feeding practices and anthropometric measurements were carried out. Nutritional status was assessed using WHO Child Growth Standard. Proportion test, bivariate and multivariate regression analysis was done. Results: The overall prevalence of underweight, stunting and wasting was 26%, 21.5% and 16.5% respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of underweight and stunting was 1.4-1.5 times higher among infant whose mother had undergone ≤3 ANCs or not availed ANCs, 1.4 times higher among infants delivered at home, having morbidity during previous fortnight and 3.6 times higher among low birth weight children. The risk of underweight and wasting was 1.2 times higher among infants with birth interval less than 2 years and 1.3-1.5 times higher among children whose mothers were washing their hands only with water after defecation. Conclusion: The undernutrition is associated with ante-natal care, delivery practices, low birth weight and hygienic practices.