Objective: To determine the infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices, 6-24 months of age using WHO indicator in Children Hospital, PIMS, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Methodology: This cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out at Lactation management clinic, Children Hospital, PIMS, Islamabad from March 20, 2012 to September 20, 2012. A total of 305 mother-baby pairs were included in the study. Information regarding IYCF practices was collected and entered in a Performa. A scoring system was used to assess the outcome.
Results: The WHO core indicators for IYCF were as follows; early initiation of breastfeeding in 64.9%, exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months in 68.6%, continued breastfeeding at 1 year in 57%, introduction of solid, semi-solid or soft foods before 6 months in 71.1%, minimum dietary diversity in 26.9%, minimum meal frequency of 3-4 times a day in 60.3%, minimum acceptable diet and consumption of iron rich or iron fortified foods in 21.3%. Commonly used food groups were staple foods (cereals, rice, potato) in 95.7% and milk products (milk, cheese, yogurt) in 91.5% of children. The mean score for IYCF practices was 3.58±1.39. The mean IYCF practices score was not significantly different between rural-urban residence or the professional status (p= >0.05).
Conclusion: Infant and young child feeding practices observed in this study are far from the ideal situation.
Key words: Breastfeeding, Infant and young child-feeding practices (IYCF), Pakistan