- Breastfeeding is very common in Nepal with 99% of children ever breastfed.
- More than half (55%) of children are breastfed within the first hour of life.
- Three in ten children who were ever breastfed received a prelactal feed, though this is not recommended.
- WHO recommends that children receive nothing but breastmilk (exclusive breastfeeding) for the first six months of life.
- Two-thirds of children under six months are exclusively breastfed. Children under three breastfeed for an average of 30.5 months and are exclusively breastfed for 4.3 months.
- Complementary foods should be introduced when a child is six months old to reduce the risk of malnutrition.
- In Nepal, 83% of children age 6-8 months are breastfed and receive complementary foods.
|Indicator||Description||Nepal||Province 1||Province 2||Bagmati||Gandaki||Province 5||Karnali||Sudurpaschim||Source|
|Early initiation of breastfeeding||Percentage of most recent live-born children to women with a live birth in the last 2 years who were put to the breast within one hour of birth||41.7||42.5||48.5||30.2||28.7||47.4||39.7||50.0||NMICS2019|
|Exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months||Percentage of infants under 6 months of age who are exclusively breastfed||62.1||60.6||69.9||51.1||58.4||63.2||68.3||55.0||NMICS2019|
|Predominant breastfeeding under 6 months||Percentage of infants under 6 months of age who received breast milk as the predominant source of nourishment11 during the previous day||78.5||80.3||85.2||62.9||72.1||80.9||88.5||74.0||NMICS2019|
|Continued breastfeeding at 1 year||Percentage of children age 12-15 months who received breast milk during the previous day||95.5||95.2||89.5||99.2||92.1||99.4||95.9||97.0||NMICS2019|
|Continued breastfeeding at 2 years||Percentage of children age 20-23 months who received breast milk during the previous day||87.6||87.3||75.0||85.8||91.0||96.9||89.8||93.4||NMICS2019|
|Duration of breastfeeding||The age in months when 50 percent of children age 0-35 months did not receive breast milk during the previous day||36+||33.1||34.0||31.6||36+||36+||36+||36+||NMICS2019|
|Age appropriate breastfeeding||Percentage of children age 0-23 months appropriately fed12 during the previous day||81.4||80.6||76.0||84.2||86.1||83.4||80.2||82.9||NMICS2019|
|Introduction of solid, semisolid or soft foods||Percentage of infants age 6-8 months who received solid, semi-solid or soft foods during the previous day||86.0||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||NMICS2019|
|Percentage of children under age 2 who received breastfed within 1 hour of birth||55||NDHS 2016|
|Percentage of children under age 6 months who exclusively breastfed||66%||NDHS 2016|
Ministry of Health, Nepal; New ERA; and ICF. 2017. 2016 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey Key Findings. Kathmandu, Nepal: Ministry of Health Nepal.
Central Bureau of Statistics and United Nations Children’s Fund. 2019. Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2019 Key Indicators. Kathmandu Nepal.