Journal of Womens Health, Issues and CareISSN: 2325-9795

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Timely Initiation of Breastfeeding and Associated Factors among Mothers Delivering at Southwest Region Hospitals, Ethiopia

Background: Breastfeeding is a pillar practice during the postnatal period. Recognizing factors associated with the initiation of breastfeeding plays a huge role in improving the habit of breastfeeding. Therefore, this study aimed to determine and identify factors affecting the timely initiation of breastfeeding among mothers who delivered preterm neonates.

Methods: Facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 480 women at South-West regional hospitals from March to September 30/2020, in Ethiopia. Study participants were nominated using a systematic random sampling technique. Data were collected using pretested and interviewer-administered questionnaires. The data were entered into Epi data version 3.5 and analyzed using SPSS version 25. Binary and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the association between predictors and timely initiation of breastfeeding initiation. The strength of association was evaluated using an adjusted odds ratio at a 95% confidence interval, where statistical significance was considered at a threshold of p<0.05.

Results: Early initiation of breastfeeding was 41% (95% of the confidence interval: 37.1%-45.6%). History of Antenatal care visits (AOR=6.04, 95%CI 3.14-11.58), delivered via cesarean section (AOR=0.37, 95% CI 0.19-0.69), 1st minute Apgar scores <7 (AOR=0.57, 95% CI 0.33-0.98), and neonates who received kangaroo mother care (AOR=4.46, 95% CI 2.79-7.13) were significantly associated with timely initiation of breast- feeding.

Conclusion: Early initiation of breastfeeding in this study was low. Antenatal care follow-up, low 1st minute Apgar score, caesarian section, and received kangaroo mother care had a significant effect on the initiation of breastfeeding. All concerned bodies have to engage to promote the timely initiation of breastfeeding for lactating women.

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