Prelacteal feeding of newborns in postconflict Timor-Leste

Type Journal Article - Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Title Prelacteal feeding of newborns in postconflict Timor-Leste
Volume 59
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 162-166
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of prelacteal feeding and its associated factors in
Timor-Leste using updated data from the national survey.
Methods: Complex sample analysis was undertaken to account for the two-stage cluster
design of the Demographic and Health Survey 2009-2010. Backward stepwise logistic
regression was conducted to ascertain factors associated with the prevalence of prelacteal
Results: A total of 4,821 mother-infant pairs were included in the analysis. The prevalence of
prelacteal feeding was 12.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 11.1% to 13.5%). The most
popular prelacteal food was plain water (50.7%), followed by glucose/sugar water (32.5%)
and milk other than breastmilk (22.7%). Older mothers (35-49 years), mothers with upper
socioeconomic status, who perceived their newborns as small size, and those residing in
urban areas, were about 1.5 times more likely to give prelacteal feeds, whereas women who
followed religions other than Roman Catholic had twice the risk (adjusted odds ratio 1.98;
95% CI 1.16 to 3.41).
Conclusions: Antenatal and postnatal counselling sessions that promote exclusive
breastfeeding and discourage prelacteal feeding are needed that specifically target these
vulnerable subgroups of Timorese mothers.

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