Factors of Exclusive Breastfeeding Practice among Women Working In the Formal and Informal Sectors

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Addis Ababa University


Breast milk is the best food and the safest option to ensure good health and ideal growth of young children. Exclusive breastfeeding indicates that a child should be fed breast milk alone during the first six months of life. However, 41% of Ethiopian infants do not receive exclusive breastfeeding and the median duration of this breastfeeding was 2.9 in months in Addis Ababa. Therefore, this study aims to determine the practice and associated factors of exclusive breastfeeding focusing on working mothers in Bole and Addis Ketema sub-cities, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 389 randomly selected breastfeeding mothers with infants aged 6 to 11-months old from June to July 2020. A semi-structured interview-based questionnaire was used for data collection. The data were entered and analyzed using STATA version 14.2 and R version 3.6.1. Descriptive statistics, t-tests for difference of proportions, and multilevel binary logistic regression were applied in the analysis. A total of 389 (192 formally and 197 informally employed) mothers were interviewed. The overall mean and median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 127 and 120 days, respectively. The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding practice for all working mothers was 46.53% (40.10% formally and 52.79% informally employed). The multilevel analysis revealed that working mothers with cesarean delivery (AOR = 0.32, 95% CI: 0.184, 0.563), low birth weight (AOR = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.134, 0.689), and insufficient milk production (AOR = 0.364, 95% CI: 0.216, 0.614) were significantly less likely to engage in exclusive breastfeeding while mothers with high breastfeeding support (AOR = 12.03, 95% CI: 5.593, 25.910) was significantly more likely to engage in exclusive breastfeeding. Maternal type of employment (being formal and informal) showed an effect on exclusive breastfeeding with intra-class correlation (ICC) = 0.0632 (0.0067, 0.4006). The overall median duration of EBF was short. However, informally employed mothers breastfed better than formally employed ones. Therefore, there is a need in providing childcare services in the workplace, working on breastfeeding support, and designing strategies to better support formally employed mothers are recommended.



Breastfeeding, Exclusive breastfeeding, Formal and informal employment