Data: The link between breastfeeding and under-five mortality rate

Photo for representation.  

Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Bihar fare the worst among States in breastfeeding.

Infant mortality under the age of five is relatively higher in these States than others. In India, less than 50% of newly borns receive breast milk within the first hour of their birth, a low number compared to other developing countries.

The chart below plots the composite score of three feeding indicators against State-wise under-five mortality rates.

image/svg+xml Composite score Under-five mortality rate Manipur U.P. Bihar M.P. Rajasthan Mizoram MEAN MEAN Odisha Chhattisgarh Punjab Kerala Sikkim T.N. Delhi 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 3.5 4.5 5.5 6.5 7.5

The composite score is based on percentage values of the following indicators: initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding until six months, and complementary feeding until nine months. A high composite score indicates good infant feeding practices.

Most States with an above average score have a lower under-five child mortality rate while States with a poor composite score tend to have a higher under-five child mortality rate (per 1,000 live births).

Uttar Pradesh has a composite score of 3.32, the lowest, and underfive mortality rate of 78, the highest, in India. Manipur has the highest composite score (7.27) and is one of the best performing States for under-five mortality rate (26).

Over 73% of newly borns were breastfed within the first hour of birth in Mizoram, the highest percentage in India. According to the WHO, this “first milk” which the infant receives is rich in protective factors and nutrients. A State-wise look.

image/svg+xml Manipur 65.6 Mizoram 73.4 Sikkim 69.7 U.P. 25.4 Odisha 68.9 Breastfed within first hour of birth 25.40 in % 73.40 Rajasthan 28.4 M.P. 34.6 Kerala 63.3 T.N. 55.4

Only 41.5% of infants in India received breast milk within the first hour of birth. India was ranked 56 out of 76 nations that were surveyed. Sri Lanka topped the charts with 90%.


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Printable version | Jun 11, 2021 4:18:35 PM |

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