The effect of maternal education on breastfeeding initiation behavior of Ugandan mothers : Secondary analysis of DHS 2016 data using the COM-B model
Abstract: Background: The World Health Organization recommends early breastfeeding initiation, within the first hour of life. Ugandan mothers with no formal schooling appear superior in fulfilling this recommendation compared to mothers with primary, secondary, or higher education. Aim: This secondary analysis of Ugandan Demographic and Health Survey data from 2016 aimed to statistically analyze the association between maternal education and early breastfeeding initiation, to find socio-economic and health care determinants that promote the behavior. Methods: Ugandan mothers (n=9,209, 15 to 49 years) were included in statistical analysis. Chi-squared testing and logistic regression were used to assess associations between maternal education (exposure) and fulfillment of early breastfeeding initiation less than 1 hour after birth (outcome). Results: Out of the eligible mothers in a weighted sample, 68% (n=6,281) fulfilled early breastfeeding initiation and 32% (n=2,928) did not meet the criteria. Maternal primary education significantly predicted the outcome of early breastfeeding initiation (p ≤ 0.05, AOR: 0.80, with 95% CI 0.67-0.95) in a negative direction, compared to uneducated mothers. This result was adjusted for maternal residence, education, occupation, and parity, along with the husband/partner's education. Moreover, educational attainment beyond the primary level indicated a non-significant association to the criteria fulfillment when compared to uneducated mothers. Conclusions: Ugandan maternal education does not seem to significantly promote early BFI behavior. Primary level education only indicated a significantly negative association compared to uneducated Ugandan mothers. Traditional lifestyle factors (lower level education, and corresponding level of occupation, and larger families) appeared to be associated with the desired behavior.
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