Prevalence of prelactal feeding and associated factors among mothers in Addis Ketema Sub City, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Sintayehu Abate Temesgen
Fikreselassie Getachew
Gebeyaw Molla
Endalkachew Fikade
Sintayehu Ashenafi
Ibrahim Kedir


Introduction: A prelacteal feed is any food except mother’s milk provided to a newborn before initiating breastfeeding. It affects timely initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding practices. Prelacteal feeding reduces the immunological benefits that gains from colostrum and increases the risk of susceptibility to infection. The harmful infant feeding practices of prelacteal feeding is widely practiced in the developing world including Ethiopia. Even though the issue was investigated in Ethiopia, fragmented and inconsistent findings were reported.

Objective: To assess prevalence and the factors associated with providing prelacteal feeds to children under six months in Addis Ketema Sub-City, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Methods: Facility based cross-sectional study design was conducted from July to October 2019. Among the available ten health centers, three of them were selected through lottery method and from these, 633 study participants were employed by using systematic random sampling technique. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20.00. The association between dependent and independent variables was assessed by multiple logistic regression. Factors with P-value <0.05 were taken as statistically significant.

Result: A sample of 604 mothers and care givers were participated in the study. A total of 175 (29%) of mothers reported providing prelactal feeds to their newborn infants. Plain water (n = 17), sugar/glucose (n = 34), infant formula (n = 60), and butter (n=12) were some of the reported prelacteal feeds. Mothers who had family size of 3-4 (AOR =2.79, 95% 2.79(1.13-6.87), and  ≥ 5 (AOR= 5.83,   95% 2.35 (2.35-14.445), and mothers who were unable to read and write (AOR=1.36,95% 1.36(1.221-1.59) were more likely practiced prelactal feeding while mothers who fed colostrum (AOR=.222,95% .222(.05-.98) and those attended ANC (AOR=0.296, 95%  .296(.117-.747) were less likely to practice.

Conclusions: Prelacteal feeding practice in Addis ketema sub-city was found to be high. Decrease level of education, increase number of family size, lack to attend ANC, and refrain to feed colostrum were strongly associated with prelactal feeding practice. Therefore improve educational status of mothers, limiting family size, promoting ANC follow up and colostrum feeding are important measures for preventing prelacteal feeding.

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