OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between EBF and educational status, household income, marital status, media exposure, and parity in Ethiopia.
METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, SCOPUS, CINAHL and WHO Global health library databases were searched using key terms for all studies published in English between September 2009 and March 2019. The methodological quality of studies was examined using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for cross-sectional studies. To obtain the pooled odds ratio (OR), extracted data were fitted in a random-effects meta-analysis model. Statistical heterogeneity was quantified using Cochran's Q test, τ2, and I2 statistics. In addition, Jackknife sensitivity analysis, cumulative meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis were conducted.
RESULTS: Out of 553 studies retrieved, 31 studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Almost all included studies were conducted among mothers with newborn less than 23 months old. Maternal primary school education (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.03-1.89; I2 = 86.11%), medium household income (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.05-1.55; I2 = 60.9%) and being married (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.05-1.83; I2 = 76.96%) were found to be significantly associated with EBF. We also observed an inverse dose-response relationship of EBF with educational status and income. However, EBF was not significantly associated with parity, media exposure, and paternal educational status.
CONCLUSIONS: In this meta-analysis, we showed the relevant effect of maternal education, income, and marital status on EBF. Therefore, multifaceted, effective, and evidence-based efforts are needed to increase the national level of exclusive breastfeeding in Ethiopia.