Timely Initiation of Breastfeeding and Associated Factors in Northwest Ethiopia: A Community Based Cross-Sectional Study
Keywords:Prevalence, Timely Initiation, Breastfeeding, Northwest Ethiopia
Background: Timely initiation of breastfeeding, starting within an hour of birth, protects infants and children against death and illness. The rate of timely initiation of breastfeeding remains low in many Sub-Sahara African countries, including Ethiopia. Hence, this study was aimed to determine the prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding and associated factors in Northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Dabat and Debark districts from North Gondar Zone, and Wogera district from the Central Gondar administrative zone. The study was done from April 6-16, 2019. A total of 1544 mothers who have infants aged<6 months were selected by a two-stage stratified random sampling technique. Data was collected using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire using a tablet-based data collection application software. Socio-demographic, reproductive, obstetric, and neonatal health-related characteristics were tested for statistical association with timely initiation of breastfeeding. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to identify the associated factors, and STATA 14.0 statistical software was used to analyze the data.
Results: A total of 1471 mothers of children aged less than 6 months were included with the response rate of 95.3%. The participants’ mean age was 27.8 years (SD± 6.7).The prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding was 55.3% (813/1471). Mothers who gave birth at health institution (AOR=3.6 (95% CI: 2.8, 4.5)), not having a frequent neonatal illness (AOR=2.2 (95% CI: 1.1, 4.4)), normal neonatal birth weight (>2.5kg) (AOR=1.8 (95% CI: 1.4, 2.2)), attending a formal education (AOR=1.3 (95% CI: 1.1, 1.6)), being an urban resident (AOR=1.7 (95% CI: 1.3, 2.1)), being a multiparous (AOR=1.6 (95% CI: 1.2, 2.1)), and having first pregnancy from 19-25 years of age (AOR=1.4 (95% CI: 1.1, 1.8)) were more likely to timely initiate breastfeeding than counterparts.
Conclusions: The prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding in Northwest Ethiopia was 55.3%. Therefore, healthcare providers and programs should strengthen health facility delivery, promote the advantage of timely initiating breastfeeding, and educate women on the drawbacks of early pregnancy on timely breastfeeding initiation by focusing on rural residences.