Early Initiation of Breastfeeding
English: % of children born in the last 12 months who were put to the breast within one hour of birth
French: % d'enfants nés au cours des 12 derniers mois qui ont été mis au sein dans l'heure qui a suivi leur naissance
Czech: % dětí narozených během posledních 12 měsíců, které byly přiloženy k prsu během první hodiny po porodu
What is its purpose?
Newborns which are put to breast soon after birth stay warmer, receive a rich source of nutrients from the mother's colostrum, and are more likely to be exclusively breastfed for the first months of their lives. This indicator therefore measures the percentage of babies that followed this practice.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with mothers of (a representative sample of) children aged 0-11.99 months:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTION (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Q1: How long after birth did you put [youngest baby's name] to the breast?
1) less than 1 hour after delivery
2) between 1 and 2 hours after delivery
3) between 2 and 24 hours after delivery
4) more than 24 hours after delivery
5) child was never breastfed
6) does not remember
Calculate the indicator's value by dividing the number of children aged 0-11.99 months who were put to the breast within one hour of birth by the total number of children aged 0-11.99 months (excluding those who did not remember) and multiplying the result by 100.
1) WHO recommends a longer recall period (children born in the last 24 months); however, for the sake of greater precision, IndiKit proposes a shorter period of 12 months only (however, if your data needs to be comparable to the official statistics using a 24 months recall period, follow this standard).
2) This indicator relies on accurate age assessment. Since people often do not remember the exact dates of their children’s birth, the data collectors should never rely only on the information provided by caregivers and always verify the child’s age. This can be done by reviewing the child’s birth certificate or other documents; however, since many caregivers do not have such documents, it is essential that your data collectors are able to determine the child’s age by using local events calendars. Read FAO’s Guidelines (see below) to learn how to prepare local events calendars and how to train data collectors in their correct use.
3) Most likely, the sampling of your survey will be representative for "households with children aged 0 - 59 months", not for "0-12 months", resulting in a lower representativeness of data for this indicator (as only part of your sample will be children aged 0-12 months). Unless you have a separate (representative) sample for this age group, the best thing you can do is to ensure that your survey uses a larger sample of respondents (e.g. by using 95% confidence level and 4 - 4.5% margin of error).
4) Disaggregate the data by sex.
Access Additional Guidance
- WHO (2008) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 1: Definitions (English version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2008) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 1: Definitions (French version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2010) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 2: Measurement (French version) (.pdf)
- WHO (2010) Indicators for Assessing IYCF Practices Part 2: Measurement (English version) (.pdf)
- FAO (2008) Guidelines for Estimating the Month and Year of Birth of Young Children (.pdf)