Exclusive breastfeeding patterns in Tanzania: Do individual, household, or community factors matter?

Kwalu Samwel Dede*, Hilde Bras

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    22 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Background
    Although there is a broad knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding among women in Tanzania, exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) remained lower than 50% for about 50 years since her independence in 1961. Previous research has mainly focused on either individual or household determinants of breastfeeding patterns. This study takes a holistic approach and examines the extent to which combined individual, household, and community factors matter in explaining exclusive breastfeeding patterns in Tanzania.
    Methods
    A cross-sectional analysis was carried out using a nationally representative sample from the 2015/16 Tanzanian Demographic and Health Survey. The dependent variable was exclusive breastfeeding, defined as the proportion of infants below 6 months of age who were exclusively breastfed in the last 24 h. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding.
    Results
    In general, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 59%. Delivery in the short rainy season (95% Confidence Interval [CI] Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] 1.21, 2.65) was associated with higher odds of practicing exclusive breastfeeding. On the one hand, mothers aged between 15 and 19 years of age (95% CI AOR 0.36, 0.93), the average size of infants at birth (95% CI AOR 0.38, 0.80), whether postnatal check-up was attended by a doctor (95% C AOR 0.06, 0.46), and the infant’s age above 2 months (95% CI AOR 0.23, 0.53) were associated with lower odds of practicing exclusive breastfeeding. There was weak evidence (95% CI AOR 0.48, 1.05) that living in an urban area was associated with a reduced practice of exclusive breastfeeding.
    Conclusion
    Breastfeeding rates are lower among young mothers, mothers whose husbands/partners decide on childcare, and mothers whose postnatal check-ups were conducted by doctors. Thus, breastfeeding programs and interventions need to focus more on young mothers, husbands/partners, and on training female nurses and midwives to increase the EBF rates. Women who tend to practice exclusive breastfeeding most often live in rural areas. There is an urgent need to understand why exclusive breastfeeding rates among urban women are lower.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number32
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational breastfeeding journal
    Volume15
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 22-Apr-2020

    Keywords

    • Exclusive breastfeeding
    • Infants
    • Child health
    • Nutritional status
    • Tanzania
    • sub-Saharan Africa

    Cite this