Exclusive breastfeeding practice in Ethiopia and its association with antenatal care and institutional delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Animut Alebel, Cheru Tesma, Belisty Temesgen, Aster Ferede, Getiye Dejenu Kibret

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Abstract

Background: Despite the World Health Organization recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first six months of life, the rate remains low both in developed and developing countries. In Ethiopia, findings regarding the prevalence of EBF have been highly variable. Antenatal care and institutional delivery are the most important factors contributing to the practice of EBF however; their effect has not been investigated in Ethiopia.

Methods: In this systematic review and meta-analysis, international databases were systematically searched. All observational studies reporting the prevalence of EBF and its association with antenatal care and institutional delivery in Ethiopia were considered. Two authors independently extracted all necessary data using a standardized data extraction format. A random effects meta-analysis model was computed to estimate the pooled prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding. Moreover, the association of antenatal care and institutional delivery with EBF was determined.

Results: After reviewing 619 studies, 32 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of EBF in Ethiopia was 59.3% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 53.8, 64.8). The subgroup analysis indicated that the highest prevalence was observed in Afar region (65.6%), followed by SNNP (63.8%), and then by Oromia (61.8%). Additionally, mothers who attended antenatal visits were 2.1 times more likely to practice EBF compared to their counterparts (Odds Ratio [OR] 2.1; 95% CI 1.5, 2.8). Moreover, mothers who gave birth at a health institution were 2.2 times more likely to practice EBF compared to mothers who gave birth at home (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.3, 3.5).

Conclusions: Exclusive breastfeeding in Ethiopia was significantly lower than the global recommendations. There was evidence that mothers who attended antenatal visits and who gave birth at health institutions had better EBF practices. Based on our findings, we strongly recommended that the utilization of antenatal care and institutional delivery should be improved through health extension workers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Breastfeeding Journal
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Prevalence
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic review
  • Ethiopia

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