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Type Journal Article - International breastfeeding journal
Title Determinants of exclusive breastfeeding practice to infants aged less than six months in Offa district, Southern Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study
Volume 11
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://internationalbreastfeedingjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13006-016-0091-8
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends timely initiation of breastfeeding after birth and only feeding breast milk to infants during the first 6 months of life. It was estimated that exclusive breastfeeding can reduce infant deaths by 13%. The practice of exclusive breastfeeding is suboptimal in many parts of Ethiopia to a varied extent. Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding practice and the proportion of its practice was not well documented in Offa district. Therefore, this study was aimed to assess the determinants of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life in Offa district, Southern Ethiopia.

A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out in 396 mothers of infants younger than 6 months using random sampling. Data were collected from mothers of the infants by trained interviewers. Exclusive breastfeeding was measured by the history of infant feeding in the prior 24 h. Pretested and structured questionnaires adopted from standard questionnaires and Ethiopia linkages modules were used. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors significantly influencing exclusive breastfeeding practice.

Based on findings of this study of 396 participants, the proportion of exclusive breastfeeding was 78.0% and awareness of exclusive breastfeeding and bottle feeding were 85.6 and 6.1% respectively. About 6% of infants were given prelacteal feeds. The number of infants fed cow milk was 12.9%, formula 7.8%, water 8.5%, fruits and semisolids 1.5%, over 24 h prior to the survey. The initiation of breastfeeding within one h (AOR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1, 4.27), attending formal education (AOR 4; 95% CI 2.20, 7.25), having an awareness on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding (AOR 6; 95% CI 3.10, 11.70) and knowledge of colostrum feeding (AOR 2.1; 95% CI 1.11, 4.27) had a statistically significant association with exclusive breastfeeding in the study area.

The practice of exclusive breastfeeding as well as awareness was worthy in Offa district. Additionally the proportion of bottle feeding use was small. However, feeding other than breast milk was associated with the perception that breast milk alone was insufficient for their child. Strategies on promoting exclusive breastfeeding practice must focus on strengthening women’s education and awareness creation activities further.

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