Epidemiol Health System J. 2024;11(1): 13-21.
doi: 10.34172/ehsj.26076
  Abstract View: 97
  PDF Download: 40

Original Article

Associated Factors of Early Breastfeeding Initiation and Exclusive Breastfeeding in South Africa: Evidence From the South African Demographic and Health Survey

Azeez Adeboye 1* ORCID logo

1 Department of Statistics, University of Fort Hare, Alice, 5700, South Africa
*Corresponding Author: Azeez Adeboye, Email: aazeez@ufh.ac.za, Email: azizadeboyee@gmail.com


Background and aims: Breastfeeding is the most desirable nutritional source for 0‒6 month-old infants. The initiation of early and exclusive breastfeeding is essential as a robust primary health prevention strategy for many children. This study aimed to examine the prediction of factors associated with early breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding in South Africa.

Methods: The required data were extracted from the South African Demographic and Health Survey 2016. A total of 3548 respondents were included in the analysis. A multivariable logistic model was applied in the analysis to examine factors associated with breastfeeding practices.

Results: About 63.3% of the respondents imitated breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth, and 31.2% were exclusively breastfed during the first 6 months. The results demonstrated that maternal age (Odds ratio [OR]=2.49, 95% CI=1.61‒3.86, P<0 .001), antenatal care (OR=0.80, 95% CI=0.67‒0.95, P=0.009), postnatal care (AOR=0.82, 95% CI=0.68‒0.99, P=0.036), and a child’s health check before leaving the hospital (AOR=0.69, 95% CI=0.56‒0.86, P<0.001) were significantly associated with low initiation of breastfeeding. Maternal age (AOR=0.44, 0.28‒0.69, P=0.001), birth order (AOR=1.71, 95% CI=1.37‒2.14, P=0.001), and child’s health check (AOR=0.63, 0.41‒0.96, P=0.033) were significantly associated with non-exclusive breastfeeding.

Conclusion: A low proportion of women practice delayed breastfeeding initiation. Hence, the findings revealed that exclusive health education and counselling should be provided for mothers before, during, and after pregnancy for greater changes in the direction of the relationship between mothers’ breastfeeding initiation and performance.

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Submitted: 28 Oct 2023
Accepted: 24 Jan 2024
ePublished: 29 Mar 2024
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