Background: Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF) is a key strategy in averting neonatal deaths. However, studies on the facilitators and risk factors for EIBF are rare in Ghana. We examined trends in EIBF and its major facilitators and risk factors in Ghana using data from Demographic and Health Surveys from 1998 to 2014.
Methods: We used complete weighted data of 3194, 3639, 2909 and 5695 pairs of mothers ages 15-49 y and their children ages 0-5 y in the 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2014 surveys, respectively. We accounted for the complex sampling used in the surveys for both descriptive statistics and multiple variable risk ratio analysis.
Results: The proportion of children who achieved EIBF increased by about 2.5 times from 1998 to 2003 and there was a marginal increase in the proportion of children who achieved EIBF between 2003 and 2014. Children born by caesarean section were at higher risk of being breastfed later than 1 h across all four surveys. Being born in the Upper East Region (compared with the Western Region) of Ghana facilitated EIBF in 2003 and 2008.
Conclusions: The study revealed that the current estimate of the proportion of children achieving EIBF in Ghana was 55.1%, and delivery by caesarean section and region of residence consistently predicted the practice of EIBF in Ghana.
Bibliographical note© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
- Demographic and Health Survey data
- Early initiation of breastfeeding
- Sub-Saharan Africa