Predictors of exclusive breastfeeding in early infancy: operational implications.Indian Pediatr 1995; 32(12):1287-96IP
To evaluate the independent predictors of exclusive breastfeeding in early infancy.
Cross sectional multivariate comparison of different breastfeeding categories.
Urban teaching hospital Outpatient Department.
Mothers of 501 children between the age group of 0-6 months were questioned in detail on a standardized pretested proforma about various sociodemographic, parental, infant, feeding related, antenatal and perinatal characteristics likely to affect breastfeeding practices. Mother's height and weight and infant's weight were also recorded.
The exclusive breastfeeding, predominant breastfeeding, bottle feeding, ever breastfed and timely first suckling rates were 44.9%, 67.8%, 31.5%, 99.4% and 10.4%, respectively. Amongst the 29 factors subjected to univariate analyses, 16 clinically relevant or significant (p < 0.1) variables were included for multiple logistic regression models. The significant (p < 0.05) positive independent association for exclusive and partial breastfeeding were (OR) infant's present weight (1.45 to 9.64); breastmilk as first feed (1.53 to 2.22); and lower age of child (1.02 to 1.05). Additional important predictors for exclusive breastfeeding versus total top feeding) were (OR) breastfeeding propagation (1.34 and 2.99); less educated mother (1.09 and 1.23); normal vaginal delivery (1.60) and taller mother (1.21).
Breastfeeding propagation plays a key role in promoting exclusive breastfeeding. Other independent negative predictors represent a high risk subset for whom intensive propagation is desirable since these factors by themselves may not be amenable to intervention.