Breastfeeding practices and determinants in infants from birth to six months in a district of Abidjan - Cote d’ivoire
Introduction: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) has the benefits of reduced rates of infectious morbidity and mortality. However, the EBF rate remains low worldwide including in Côte d'Ivoire despite efforts by health authorities.
Objective: The study was carried out to describe the knowledge and practices of mothers concerning infant feeding especially with regards to breastfeeding from birth to six months and to identify factors influencing these practices.
Methods: This was a descriptive and cross-sectional study conducted over a one-month period (1st to 31st August 2014)at a hospital in Abobo-Avocatier.
Results: A total of 318 mothers and their infants were recruited. The median (range) age of the mothers was 27 (14-40)years. Over half (64.5%) had some form of formal education, 78.9% lived with a partner while 24.5% were unemployed. The HIV status was unknown in 29.6% of cases. The majority of infants (94%), were born at term through vaginal route (91.5%) and the median (range) age was 74 (2-180) days with a M:F ratio of 1.18. More than half of mothers received advice on breastfeeding (57.2%) mainly by a health care provider (83%). The overall breastfeeding, EBF, predominant breastfeeding and mixed feeding rates were 79.9%, 43.3%, 46.84% and 18.9% respectively. Initiation rate of breastfeeding within the first hour was 29%.The maternal age (p=0.007) and low birth weight of the infant (p=0.023) were significantly associated with EBF. Other factors associated with EBF include the mother’s occupation and being married.
Conclusion: Despite the high overall rate of breastfeeding in the study, EBF rates and timely initiation of breastfeeding after birth need to be improved. Awareness campaigns need to be strengthened and interventions instituted to scale up optimal breastfeeding practices.
Keywords: Infants, breastfeeding, determinants, birth, Cote d’Ivoire, six months.