Background and aims Skin to Skin (STS) care in neonatal period influences immediate breastfeeding outcomes in early childhood, especially the duration of exclusive breastfeeding. We investigated influence of STS care given on day one of life on infant and child feeding (IYCF) practices through one year of life.
Methods Mothers of 100 neonates (48 girls, 52 boys) from previous study cohort of RCT on STS care was followed. A telephonic survey on IYCF practices during the first year of life was administered.
Results There was no difference in the groups as far as the duration of exclusive breastfeeding, number of times breastfed per day, or stoppage of night feeds. No baby in either group received bottled feeds but about 53 received some form of extra lacteal feeds in the first 6 months without significant group difference. Fewer STS group mothers reported difficulties with breastfeeding or extra lacteal supplementation. All mothers who faced problems contacted physicians for advice, and 20 were advised top milk and 6 given other foods. At one year of life 66% mothers were giving less than the recommended five food servings. There was no difference in practices related to handwashing, food preparation and storage, feeding habits of child and illness episodes in the children.
Conclusions IYCF practices even in this small group were not as per recommended guidelines. Few positive trends were seen with fewer STS mothers facing problems related to breastfeeding. The study was underpowered to detect differences in IYCF practices in relation to STS care.