PURPOSE: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to provide a national estimate of breast and complementary feeding practices and its predictors in Ethiopia.
METHODS: PubMed, SCOPUS, EMBASE, CINHAL, Web of Science and WHO Global Health Library electronic databases were searched for all available literature published until April 2018. Observational studies including cross-sectional, case-control and cohort studies were included. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used to assess the quality of studies. Heterogeneity of studies was quantified using Cochran's Q χ2 statistic and Higgins's method (I2). A meta-analysis using a weighted inverse variance method was performed. Subgroup analysis was carried out based on region and study area.
RESULTS: In total, 70 studies that involved > 55,000 women from nine regions and two chartered cities in Ethiopia were included. The pooled national prevalence for timely initiation of breastfeeding (TIBF), exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) and timely initiation of complementary feeding was 66.5%, 60.1% and 62.5%, respectively. Guidance and counselling on breastfeeding, vaginal delivery and health institution delivery significantly increased the odds of TIBF and EBF. In addition, TIBF significantly associated with high EBF practice. Maternal occupational status significantly associated with low EBF practice, but not TIBF.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the WHO standard, the current breast and complementary feeding practice in Ethiopia is good and improving. Integrated intervention is still required for further improvement and minimizing the effect of occupational status.