A premature birth takes place more than three weeks before the baby’s estimated due date or before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. Premature birth is a chronic health problem that has a high impact on morbidity and mortality. Premature births in both female and male infants are linked with poor metabolism. According to WHO (2012), about 60% of 9.1 million births are estimated annually to be premature in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Saeidi et al. (2016) informed that premature birth may cause death and leads to disorders and disabilities in the newbie. Available literature indicated that adequate nutrition in childhood can develop their health status and prevent disease during their life span. Bodyweight/age index measurements give an assessment of nutritional status, growth, and stored energy in children. So, nutritional improvement is vital in children for their survival and can be done through understanding by caregivers and proper feeding. Reichman and Teitler (2006) studied that low birth weight is a leading cause of infant deaths and is linked with deafness, cerebral palsy, blindness, and other disabilities. According to Neto and Falcão (2014), less than 2500 g is considered as Low birth weight and very low birth weight is less than 1500 g.
‘Down Syndrome’ or ‘Trisomy 21’ is a condition in which a child is born with an extra copy of their 21st chromosome that causes delay mental and physical development and disabilities. Solomon et al. (2008) studied that Down syndrome diagnosis is difficult in infants when exclusively based on physical examination of premature infants, including low birth weight. Nilakesuma et al. (2018) revealed that Infant health development is measured through nutritional status, which is influenced by factors including the mother’s education level and exclusive breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a suitable method for providing superlative food for infant growth and intellectual development. The first 1000 days of life are significant for the growth and development of children and in this span, the practice of complementary feeding should be optimized. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition published a study conducted by Supadmi et al. (2020) to identify the effects of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary food, as well as the characteristics of the nutritional status of premature infants, in Indonesia. They found that premature birth is closely linked with education level, residence, occupation, age of mother, birth gestational age, birth weight, and length measurements, head circumference, and nutritional status. They claimed that body disabilities and under-nutrition conditions are more often in premature infants than infants born with a normal gestational age.