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Pre-lactal feeding

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 5 replies.

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Anonymous 3267

Program Manager

Normal user

11 Nov 2015, 11:22

My question is to clear my concept about exclusively breastfeeding.
During my field visit observation, there are few mothers they have introduced pre-lactal feeding during for one or two days, and for rest of feeding only breast milk up to six month, is this case will be counted in exclusively breastfeeding? Few mothers shared, during their illness for one or two days they prefer to feed other milk when they get back to normal again child was exclusively breastfeed, may this case counted in exclusively breastfeed?.

Sally Etheridge

IBCLC; secretary LCGB

Normal user

11 Nov 2015, 21:48

My understanding is that this would not be counted as exclusive bf. I wonder what the illness is they are referring to? Do they mean recovering from the birth? Breastfeeding within an hour of the birth and then continued exclusive bf can be encouraged for all mothers unless there is a clinical reason for mother or baby that this cannot happen. If bf is unable to start immediatley then hand expressing colostrum and giving this to the baby should be facilitated and supported. This situation sounds as if it may be a lack of awareness and education? Do you have anyone on hand who could help you with this Qamar din?

Jennifer Yourkavitch

Normal user

11 Nov 2015, 22:32

I agree--in those situations the child would not be considered to be exclusively breastfed, but they would be predominantly breastfed. Here are breastfeeding definitions: http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Baby_Friendly/Research/infant_feeding_definitions.pdf?epslanguage=en

Felicity Savage

Chair, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action

Technical expert

11 Nov 2015, 22:37

This is not exclusive breastfeeding, and prelacteal feeds can be dangerous.
However, it is necessary to remember that in public health, exclusive breastfeeding may be an INDICATOR or a RECOMMENDATION. Exclusive breastfeeding is used as an indicator when rates are measured in cross sectional surveys. The question is often about the method of feeding in the last 24 hours, to ensure accurate recall. In this case, even if the child has been fed something else in the past, but not in the last 24 hours, this is recorded as "exclusive breastfeeding". As a result, rates tend to be overestimated, but it is considered that the figure obtained is more accurate for comparison with other populations or at other times than asking about feeding method over an extended period of time, which is more likely to be subject to recall inaccuracies.
But as a recommendation, that is certainly to give no other food or drink at any time at all for six months. Studies may ask about feeding method on a number of different occasions, perhaps to follow children longitudinally to assess the consequences. Results may be expressed as the number of children exclusively breastfed for a certain length of time. So we have to be aware of the difference between the indicator and the recommendation. Giving prelacteal feeds is not recommended as part of exclusive breastfeeding, even though the child may be recorded as breastfeeding exclusively if the mother is asked later as part of a cross sectional survey.

Everlyn Matiri

CRS

Normal user

13 Nov 2015, 10:59

I agree. This is not exclusive breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding means giving the infant/child breast milk only, no other food or drink (not even water) within the first six months. However, I concur that the way this indicator is collected in cross-sectional studies (including national DHS surveys) tends to give higher national prevalence because the question asked is ''what was fed to the infant during the last 24 hours''.

Anonymous 3267

Program Manager

Normal user

16 Nov 2015, 16:10

Thanks to all for your responses and sharing of informative material

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