OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the association of gender of newborn, antenatal care (ANC) and postnatal care (PNC) with timely initiation of breast feeding (TIBF) and exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) practices in Ethiopia.
DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis.
DATA SOURCES: To retrieve all available literature, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, WHO Global Health Library, Web of Science and SCOPUS databases were systematically searched and complemented by manual searches. The search was done from August 2017 to September 2018.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: All observational studies including cross-sectional, case-control, cohort studies conducted in Ethiopia from 2000 to 2018 were included. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale was used for quality assessment of included studies.
DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Study area, design, population, number of mothers (calculated sample size and participated in the study) and observed frequency data were extracted using Joanna Briggs Institute tool. To obtain the pooled effect size, a meta-analysis using weighted inverse variance random-effects model was performed. Cochran's Q X2 test, τ2 and I2 statistics were used to test heterogeneity, estimate amount of total/residual heterogeneity and measure variability attributed to heterogeneity, respectively. Mixed-effects meta-regression analysis was done to identify possible sources of heterogeneity. Egger's regression test at p value threshold ≤0.01 was used to examine publication bias. Furthermore, the trend of evidence over time was examined by performing a cumulative meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Of 523 articles retrieved, 17 studies (n=26 146 mothers) on TIBF and 24 studies (n=17 819 mothers) on EBF were included in the final analysis. ANC (OR=2.24, 95% CI 1.65 to 3.04, p<0.001, I2=90.9%), PNC (OR=1.86, 95% CI 1.41 to 2.47, p<0.001, I2=63.4%) and gender of newborn (OR=1.31, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.68, p=0.04, I2=81.7%) significantly associated with EBF. ANC (OR=1.70, 95% CI 1.10 to 2.65, p=0.02, I2=93.1%) was also significantly associated with TIBF but not with gender of newborn (OR=1.02, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.21, p=0.82, I2=66.2%).
CONCLUSIONS: In line with our hypothesis, gender of newborn, ANC and PNC were significantly associated with EBF. Likewise, ANC was significantly associated with TIBF. Optimal care during pregnancy and after birth is important to ensure adequate breast feeding. This meta-analysis study provided up-to-date evidence on breastfeeding practices and its associated factors, which could be useful for breastfeeding improvement initiative in Ethiopia and cross-country and cross-cultural comparison.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42017056768.