Maternal and child factors associated with timely initiation of breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa

Francis APPIAH, Bright Opoku AHINKORAH, Eugene BUDU, Joseph Kojo ODURO, Francis SAMBAH, Linus BAATIEMA, Edward Kwabena AMEYAW, Abdul Aziz AMEYAW*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

Abstract

Background:
The probability of not breastfeeding within the first hour after delivery (timely initiation of breastfeeding) is particularly pronounced in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we examined the maternal and child factors associated with timely initiation of breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods:
We pooled data from 29 sub-Saharan African countries’ Demographic and Health Surveys conducted from 2010 to 2018. A total of 60,038 childbearing women were included. Frequencies, percentages, and binary logistic regression analyses were carried out. Binary logistic regression was used to examine the maternal and child factors associated with timely initiation of breastfeeding and the results were presented as adjusted odds ratios (aOR) at 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results:
We found a prevalence of 55.81% of timely initiation of breastfeeding in the sub-region. The country with the highest prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding was Burundi (86.19%), whereas Guinea had the lowest prevalence (15.17%). The likelihood of timely initiation of breastfeeding was lower among married women, compared to never married women (aOR 0.91; 95% CI 0.85, 0.98); working women compared to non-working women (aOR 0.90; 95% CI 0.87, 0.93); women who watched television at least once a week, compared to those who never watched television (aOR 0.74; 95% CI 0.70, 0.78); women who delivered through caesarean section, compared to vaginal birth (aOR 0.30; 95% CI 0.27, 0.32); and those with multiple births, compared to those with single births (aOR 0.67; 95% CI 0.59, 0.76). Women who lived in Central Africa were less likely to initiate breastfeeding timely compared to those who lived in West Africa (aOR 0.80; 95% CI 0.75, 0.84).

Conclusions:
The findings call for the need for a behavioural change communication programmes, targeted at timely initiation of breastfeeding, to reverse and close the timely initiation of breastfeeding gaps stratified by the maternal and child factors. Prioritising policies to enhance timely initiation of breastfeeding is needed, particularly among Cental African countries where timely initiation of breastfeeding remains a challenge. Sufficient supportive care, especially for mothers with multiple births and those who undergo caesarean section, is needed to resolve timely initiation of breastfeeding inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Breastfeeding Journal
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge Measure DHS for providing us with the data upon which the findings of this study were based.

Publisher’s Note:
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Keywords

  • DHS
  • Global health
  • Maternal and child factors
  • Maternal health
  • SSA
  • Timely initiation of breastfeeding

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