Determinants of Early Initiation, Exclusiveness, and Duration of Breastfeeding in Uganda

Edward Bbaale

Abstract


Breastfeeding practices in Uganda are contrary to the best practice recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). Only six in 10 Ugandan children below the age of six months are exclusively breastfed. This paper investigated the determinants of breastfeeding practices in Uganda. Using the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) of 2006, we employed probit and Cox’s regression techniques as well as the Kaplan-Meier survival functions during the analysis. On average, 56% and 46% initiated breastfeeding in the first hour and practised exclusive breastfeeding respectively while 25%, 50%, and 75% terminated breastfeeding at 18, 24, and 26 months respectively. The mean number of months of breastfeeding was 14.1, and the maximum was 40. Hospital delivery increased the probability of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding by 4-5% (p<0.01) and 7-8% (p<0.01) respectively. Prenatal care increased the probability of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding by 6-7% (p<0.05) and 5-7% (p<0.05) respectively. Birth intervals less than 24 months increased the risk of early termination of breastfeeding by 19% (p<0.01). Hospital delivery and prenatal care should be made a priority, and mothers should be encouraged to adopt higher birth intervals.

Key words: Breastfeeding duration; Exclusive breastfeeding; Uganda


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