Sub-Optimal Breastfeeding and Its Associated Factors in Rural Communities of Hula District, Southern Ethiopia A Cross-Sectional Study

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Shibru Hoche
Berhan Meshesha
Negash Wakgari


BACKGROUND: Sub-optimal breast feeding contributed asignificant number of infants’ death. Although breast feeding isuniversal in Ethiopia, the practice is not optimal. Hence, this studyassessed the prevalence of sub-optimal breast feeding practice andits associated factors in rural communities of Hula District,Southern Ethiopia.METHODS: A community based cross-sectional study wasconducted among 634 women with infants aged 6 to 12 months.Multistage sampling technique was employed to select studysubjects. Interviewer administered structured questionnaire wasused for data collection. Data were entered and analyzed by usingSPSS version 20.0. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressionwas used to identify predictors of delayed initiation ofbreastfeeding and non-exclusive breastfeeding.RESULTS: The prevalence of suboptimal breast feeding of infantswas found to be 56.9%. Nearly half (49.4%) of the mothersdelayed initiation of breast feeding, and 13.4% of the infants werefed breast non-exclusively. Having formal education [AOR: 1.74;95% CI (1.17, 2.59)], family size < 5 [AOR=1.59; 95% CI (1.03,2.45)], having one under five child [AOR=1.88; 95% CI (1.29,2.75)], lower number of antenatal care visits [AOR= 2.40; 95% CI(1.68, 3.43)] and lack of counseling on breastfeeding [AOR= 1.69;95% CI (1.19, 2.41)] were negatively associated with delayedinitiation of breast feeding. Similarly, not attending formaleducation, low birth order and lack of knowledge about exclusivebreastfeeding were also negatively associated with exclusivebreastfeeding practice.CONCLUSION: In this study, sub-optimal breast feeding wasfound to be high. Delayed initiation and non-exclusivebreastfeeding practices were major contributors to sub-optimalbreast feeding.KEYWORDS: Sub-optimal breast feeding, Hula District

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Original Article
Author Biographies

Shibru Hoche, SidamaZone, Ethiopia

Yirba Primary Hospital

Berhan Meshesha, Hawassa University,Hawassa, Ethiopia

College of Medicine and Health Science

Negash Wakgari, HawassaUniversity,Hawassa, Ethiopia

School of Nursing and Midwifery,
College of Medicine and Health Sciences