Determinants of infant and young child feeding practices in Sri Lanka: secondary data analysis of Demographic and Health Survey 2000

Upul Senarath, Michael J. Dibley, S. S. P. Godakandage, Hiranya Jayawickrama, Aravinda Wickramasinghe, Kingsley E. Agho, South Asia Infant Feeding Research Network (SAIFRN)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Poor feeding practices in early childhood contribute to the burden of childhood malnutrition and morbidity.

Objective. To estimate the key indicators of breastfeeding and complementary feeding and the determinants of selected feeding practices in Sri Lanka.

Methods. The sample consisted of 1,127 children aged 0 to 23 months from the Sri Lanka Demographic and Health Survey 2000. The key infant feeding indicators were estimated and selected indicators were examined against a set of individual-, household-, and community-level variables using univariate and multivariate analyses.

Results. Breastfeeding was initiated within the first hour after birth in 56.3% of infants, 99.7% had ever been breastfed, 85.0% were currently being breastfed, and 27.2% were being bottle-fed. Of infants under 6 months of age, 60.6% were fully breastfed, and of those aged 6 to 9 months, 93.4% received complementary foods. The likelihood of not initiating breastfeeding within the first hour after birth was higher for mothers who underwent cesarean delivery (OR = 3.23) and those who were not visited by a Public Health Midwife at home during pregnancy (OR = 1.81). The rate of full breastfeeding was significantly lower among mothers who did not receive postnatal home visits by a Public Health Midwife. Bottle-feeding rates were higher among infants whose mothers had ever been employed (OR = 1.86), lived in a metropolitan area (OR = 3.99), or lived in the South-Central Hill country (OR = 3.11) and were lower among infants of mothers with secondary education (OR = 0.27). Infants from the urban (OR = 8.06) and tea estate (OR = 12.63) sectors were less likely to receive timely complementary feeding than rural infants.

Conclusions. Antenatal and postnatal contacts with Public Health Midwives were associated with improved breastfeeding practices. Breastfeeding promotion strategies should specifically focus on the estate and urban or metropolitan communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-365
Number of pages14
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • determinants
  • infant feeding
  • Sri Lanka
  • young child

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