Projects per year
OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether village-level urbanicity and lower level socioeconomic factors are associated with breastfeeding practices in transitioning rural communities in India.
SETTING: 29 villages in Ranga Reddy district, southern India between 2011 and 2014.
PARTICIPANTS: 7848 children under 6 years identified via a cross-sectional household survey conducted as part of the Andhra Pradesh Children and Parents Study.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Two key indicators of optimal breastfeeding: termination of exclusive breastfeeding before 6 months and discontinuation of breastfeeding by 24 months. Village urbanicity was classified as low, medium or high according to satellite assessed night-light intensity.
RESULTS: Breastfeeding initiation was almost universal, and approximately two in three children were exclusively breastfed to 6 months and a similar proportion breastfed to 24 months. Using multilevel logistic regression, increasing urbanicity was associated with breastfeeding discontinuation before 24 months (medium urbanicity OR 1.45, 95% CI 0.71 to 2.96; high urbanicity OR 2.96, 95% CI 1.45 to 6.05) but not with early (<6 months) termination of exclusive breastfeeding. Increased maternal education was independently associated with both measures of suboptimal breastfeeding, and higher household socioeconomic position was associated with early termination of exclusive breastfeeding.
CONCLUSION: In this transitional Indian rural community, early stage urbanicity was associated with a shorter duration of breastfeeding. Closer surveillance of changes in breastfeeding practices alongside appropriate intervention strategies are recommended for emerging economies.