African Health Sciences

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Magnitude and factors associated with delayed initiation of breastfeeding among mothers who deliver in Mulago hospital, Uganda.

Richard Kalisa, Ombeva Malande, Jolly Nankunda, James K Tumwine


Background: Breastfeeding as a determinant of infant health and nutrition saves up to 1.5 million infant lives annually. Though breastfeeding is mostly universal in sub-Saharan Africa, early initiation of breastfeeding is rarely practiced.
Objective: To determine magnitude and factors associated with delayed initiation of breastfeeding among mother-infant pairs who deliver in Mulago hospital.
Methods: We carried out a descriptive cross sectional study, where 665 mother-infant pairs were interviewed within 24 hours following delivery; with additional qualitative data collected using focus group discussions to understand reasons for delaying initiation. The data was analysed by identification and coding of themes.
Results: In this study, 31.4% mothers delayed initiation of breastfeeding. This was associated with maternal HIV positive status (AOR 2.3; 95% CI 1.3-4.2), inadequate prenatal guidance, (AOR 3.6; 95% CI 1.9-6.8), inadequate professional assistance to initiate breastfeeding (AOR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.8) and caesarean section delivery (AOR 8.6; 95% CI 4.7-16.0). Other reasons were perceived lack of breast milk, need of rest for both mother and baby after labor, and negative cultural beliefs.
Conclusion: In Mulago Hospital 1:3 mothers delayed initiation of breastfeeding. The reasons for delayed initiation include; inadequate information during ANC, HIV positive serostatus, caesarian section delivery and negative cultural ideas.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, initiation, delayed, HIV
AJOL African Journals Online