Determinants of breastfeeding initiation and its association with breastfeeding practice of Filipino children aged 0–23 months
Early initiation of breastfeeding, defined as breastfeeding within 1 h after delivery, ensures that the child will receive its first protection from the immunoglobulins found in colostrum. It also helps establish exclusive breastfeeding which is the optimal feeding practice for infants from birth to 6 months. The study aimed to identify the variables of breastfeeding initiation among Filipino children aged 0–23 months and to associate child’s breastfeeding initiation with the child’s breastfeeding practice during the first two years of life. The study was a cross-sectional analysis of the 8th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) collected in 2013 which included a national data of 4,960 mother and child pair. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify the determinants of breastfeeding initiation. The association between breastfeeding initiation and the child’s feeding practice at the time of the survey was tested using Chi square test at 5% level of significance. Results showed that mothers who gave birth to a full term infants (Adjusted Odds Ration [AOR] 1.9; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.19, 3.04), who had given birth more than once (AOR 1.2; 95% CI 1.00, 1.53) and those who had given birth in a public health center (AOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.08, 2.22) were associated with increased odds of early initiation of breastfeeding. Significant association was also found between infants’ breastfeeding initiation and breastfeeding practices at the time of the survey. Factors affecting early initiation of breastfeeding were gestational age at birth, parity, method of delivery, place of delivery, and household wealth quintile. The study provided evidence that there is a need to improve promotion of timely breastfeeding initiation and for the government to strengthen its campaign on Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI), setting goals that all health delivery facilities in the country are Mother-Baby Friendly certified.
Keywords: exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding initiation, infant and young child feeding