Document Type



Internal Medicine


Appropriate breast feeding practices (ABFP) are important for successful lactation. Constraints to adoption of ABFP by mothers in a squatter settlement in Karachi, Pakistan are reported. One hundred and two mother-infant pairs were followed from birth to 16 weeks of age. Eighty-seven infants received prelacteal feeds of honey as a quasi-religious ritual, 16 received ghutti for "cleansing of stomach", other prelacteal feeds were given as substitutes for breast feeding. Twenty nine mothers initiated breast feeding within 4 hours of birth. Supplemental water was given to 53 infants; major reasons being mothers' perception of thirst and diarrhoea in the infant. Supplemental milk was given to 24 infants. Insufficient milk and work load of mothers were main reasons for supplementation. Home remedies were given in 36 instances for prevention/treatment of indigestion or colds. Quasi-religious ritual of giving honey, perception that child birth was a major stress and early initiation of breast feeding adds to that stress, fear of dehydration and perception of insufficient breast milk were the major constraints to adoption of appropriate breast feeding practices.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pakistan Medical Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.