Initiation of breastfeeding after birth comes with a wide range of benefits to the child. For example, it provides the child with all essential nutrients needed for survival within the first six months of birth. This study sought to determine the prevalence and factors associated with early initiation of breastfeeding (EIB) in Papua New Guinea.
We utilized the Demographic and Health Survey data of 3198 childbearing women in Papua New Guinea. We employed descriptive and binary logistic regression analyses. We presented the results as Crude Odds Ratios (COR) and Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR), with 95% confidence intervals (CI) signifying level of precision. Level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
Women aged 20–29 [AOR = 1.583, CI = 1.147–2.185] and those aged 30+ [AOR = 1.631, CI = 1.140–2.335] had higher odds of EIB, compared to those aged 15–19. Women from the Islands region had lower odds [AOR = 0.690, CI = 0.565–0.842] of EIB, compared to those in Southern region. Women who delivered through caesarean section had lower odds of EIB, compared to those who delivered via vaginal delivery [AOR = 0.286, CI = 0.182–0.451]. Relatedly, women who delivered in hospitals had lower odds of EIB [AOR = 0.752, CI = 0.624–0.905], compared to those who delivered at home. Women who practiced skin-to-skin contact with the baby [AOR = 1.640, CI = 1.385–1.942] had higher odds of EIB, compared to those who did not. Women who read newspaper or magazine at least once a week had lower odds of EIB [AOR = 0.781, CI = 0.619–0.986], compared to those who did not read newspaper at all.
The prevalence of EIB in Papua New Guinea was relatively high (60%). The factors associated with EIB are age of the women, region of residence, mode of delivery, place of delivery, practice of skin-to-skin contact with the baby, and exposure to mass media (newspaper). To increase EIB in Papua New Guinea, these factors ought to be considered in the implementation of policies and measures to strengthen existing policies. Health providers should educate mothers on the importance of EIB.
Bibliographical noteWe are grateful to MEASURE DHS project for giving us free access to the original data.
- Early initiation of breastfeeding
- Global health
- Newborn health
- Papua New Guinea
- Public health