Trend of Breastfeeding and its Impact on Morbidity in Children in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Kathmandu

Keywords: breastfeeding, acute respiratory infections, acute otitis media, acute diarrheal episodes


Introduction: WHO advocates for exclusive breastfeeding in infants till six months of age. Exclusive breastfeeding has been estimated to reduce 70% of infection related mortality in children. This study aims to elaborate the current trend of breastfeeding and its impact on common infectious morbidities in children.

Methods: This study was a prospective longitudinal study done at Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital with a sample size of 103 infants. Detailed proforma including sociodemographic data, breastfeeding related data and morbidities were collected at one and half months of life. The patients were followed up at 6 months of age again and the same proforma was again filled up. Statistical analysis was done with SPSS 20.0 and  various associations were elucidated. 

Results: A total of 103 infants were analyzed. Males were 58 in numbers with mean birth weight of the infants being 3048±537 grams. Breast feeding was initiated within an hour in around 37%. At one and half months of age, 63% reported of exclusive breastfeeding which decreased to 23% at 6 months of age. Breastfeeding for at least 45 days decreased the incidence of Acute Respiratory Infections(ARI), Acute Otitis Media(AOM) and diarrheal diseases although statistically significant difference was found with only ARIs.    

Conclusion: Prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding is low in the study. The study has also shown that breastfeeding significantly reduces incidence of common infectious morbidities in infants. 


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Anwesh Bhatta, Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital

Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics

Rydam Basnet, Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital

Lecturer, Department of Pediatrics


American Academy of Pediatrics. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Vol. 129, PEDIATRICS. 2012 Mar. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3552

UNICEF. Infant and Young Child Feeding Global Database. 2016.

Horta B., Victora C. Short-term effects of breastfeeding: a systematic review on the benefits of breastfeeding on diarrhoea and pneumonia mortality. World Health Organization. 2013.

WHO. WHO Fact sheet, Children: reducing mortality. 2016.

Jones G, Steketee RW, Black RE, Bhutta ZA, Morris SS, Bellagio Child Survival Study Group. How many child deaths can we prevent this year? Lancet. 2003 Jul 5;362(9377):65–71.DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13811-1

Victora CG, Bahl R, Barros AJD, França GVA, Horton S, Krasevec J, et al. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet. 2016 Jan;387(10017):475–90. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01024-7

Patil CL, Turab A, Ambikapathi R, Nesamvuni C, Chandyo RK, Bose A, et al. Early interruption of exclusive breastfeeding: results from the eight-country MAL-ED study. J Heal Popul Nutr. 2015 Dec 1;34(1):10. PMID: 26825923

WHO. Indicators for assessing breastfeeding practices WHO/CDD/SER/91.14. World Health Organization. 1991. p. 1–14.

Betrán AP, Ye J, Moller A-B, Zhang J, Gülmezoglu AM, Torloni MR. The Increasing Trend in Caesarean Section Rates: Global, Regional and National Estimates: 1990-2014. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0148343. PMID: 26849801

Dns G, Prasuti Tatha Prajanan Swasthya Kendra A. Rising Cesarean Section Rates in Nepal: Question of safety and Integrity on Obstetric Emergency Practice. 2017;7. DOI: 10.19080/JGWH.2017.07.555716

Chhetri S, Singh U. Caesarean section: its rates and indications at a tertiary referral center in Eastern Nepal. Heal Renaiss. 2011;9(3):179–83. DOI: 10.3126/hren.v9i3.5587

ICF M of H and PNE. Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2016 Key Indicators Report Ministry of Health Ramshah Path, Kathmandu Nepal New ERA Ministry of Health. 2017 . Available from:

World Bank Gender Data Portal | Country - Nepal. Available from:

Department of Health Services. Annual Report 2014/15. Kathmandu;

Ip S, Chung M, Raman G, Chew P, Magula N, DeVine D, et al. Breastfeeding and maternal and infant health outcomes in developed countries. Evid Rep Technol Assess. 2007 Apr;(153):1–186. PMID: 17764214

Nishimura T, Suzue J, Kaji H. Breastfeeding reduces the severity of respiratory syncytial virus infection among young infants: A multi-center prospective study. Pediatr Int.2009;51(6):812–6. PMID: 19419530

Abdullah A, Hort K, Butu Y, Simpson L. Risk factors associated with neonatal deaths: a matched case–control study in Indonesia. Glob Health Action. 2016 Dec 16;9(1):30445. PMID: 28157054

Sankar MJ, Sinha B, Chowdhury R, Bhandari N, Taneja S, Martines J, et al. Optimal breastfeeding practices and infant and child mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Paediatr. 2015 Dec;104(S467):3–13. DOI: 10.1111/apa.13147

Bowatte G, Tham R, Allen K, Tan D, Lau M, Dai X, et al. Breastfeeding and childhood acute otitis media: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Acta Paediatr. 2015 Dec;104:85–95.DOI: 10.1111/apa.13151

Boone KM, Geraghty SR, Keim SA. Feeding at the Breast and Expressed Milk Feeding: Associations with Otitis Media and Diarrhea in Infants. J Pediatr. 2016 Jul;174:118–25. PMID: 27174145

Lamberti LM, Fischer Walker CL, Noiman A, Victora C, Black RE. Breastfeeding and the risk for diarrhea morbidity and mortality. BMC Public Health. 2011 Apr 13;11(Suppl 3):S15. PMID: 21501432

How to Cite
Bhatta A, Basnet R. Trend of Breastfeeding and its Impact on Morbidity in Children in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Kathmandu. J Lumbini Med Coll [Internet]. 26Apr.2019 [cited 11May2021];7(1):6-2. Available from:
Original Research Article