The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that breastfeeding should be initiated within the first hour of delivery followed by exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months. This study examined the determinants of early initiation of breastfeeding in Ghana using data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey.
A sample size of 4219 was used for the study. Descriptive statistics was conducted to ascertain the proportion of children who had early initiation of breastfeeding after which binary logistic regression analysis was carried out. Results were presented using frequencies, percentages, unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios. Statistical significance was pegged at p<0.05.
Children of first birth order [AOR = 0.71, CI = 0.61–0.84], those who were delivered by non-professionals [AOR = 0.51, CI = 0.30–0.88] and those whose mothers were Traditionalists [AOR = 0.65, CI = 0.46–0.92] and Mole-Dagbanis [AOR = 0.69, CI = 0.54–0.89] were less likely to go through early initiation of breastfeeding compared to those of 2–4 birth order, those who were delivered by health professionals, those whose mothers were Christians and Akan, respectively. Conversely, children born to mothers who read newspaper/magazine at least once a week were more likely to go through early initiation of breastfeeding, compared to those who never read newspaper/magazine [AOR = 1.40, CI = 1.01–1.95]. Children born to mothers who watched television less than once a week were more likely to go through early initiation of breastfeeding compared to those who watched television at least once a week [AOR = 1.40, CI = 1.01–1.95]. Finally, women from the Northern [AOR = 2.40, CI = [1.77–3.26] and Upper East regions [AOR = 2.57, CI = [1.86–3.56] practiced early initiation of breastfeeding compared to those from the Ashanti region.
Empowering healthcare providers to be consistent in early breastfeeding initiation advocacy and effective community engagement on the need to embrace and practice early initiation of breastfeeding can improve the situation.
Bibliographical noteWe express our profound gratitude to MeasureDHS for providing us access to the dataset.
- Early initiation
- Newborn health