News article

Indian Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices

Posted:  Monday, September 12, 2016

2016 Indian Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding

The Indian Academy of Pediatrics has put forth the following guidelines for feeding infants and young children. Breastfeeding should be the gold standard feeding option for infants. Expectant mothers should be counselled by maternity facility or mother support group for successful breastfeeding. Within an hour of birth, breastfeeding should be initiated and the infant should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months. Skin-to-skin contact between the mother and the newborn should be started within 5 minutes of birth so that all normal newborns (including those born through caesarean section) can initiate breastfeeding within an hour of birth. While feeding, mothers should communicate with, touch, establish eye contact, and caress the infant. Kangaroo Mother Care should be adopted to keep the infant warm. Until lactation is established, the infant should be breastfed at least 8–10 times in 24 hours. Very small infants or infants who do not demand milk should be periodically fed to avoid low sugar levels.

Working mothers should be given baby care or maternity or breastfeeding leave to encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. Supplemental Suckling Technique of re-lactation should be tried as soon as possible if breastfeeding was temporarily discontinued. The World Health Organization Growth Charts should be used for monitoring growth of infants.

Appropriate home-made complementary foods should be introduced after completion of six months. Complementary foods should be energy dense. Hands should be washed with soap before eating, preparing food and after using the toilet. Home-cooked foods should be used over junk, artificial or packaged foods. Human milk banks should be established to promote breastfeeding. Infants should be regularly immunized, de-wormed and supplemented with vitamin A. Adolescent girls, pre-pregnant women and pregnant mothers should receive optimal nutrition for foetal well-being, proper intrauterine growth and to prevent malnutrition in the postnatal period. Infant Milk Substitute Act should be implemented to prevent promotion of infant milk substitutes, teats and feeding bottles.

News source - Tiwari S, Bharadva K, Yadav B et al. Infant and Young Child Feeding Guidelines, 2016. Indian Pediatr. 2016; 53(8):703-13.