Maternal and child factors associated with early initiation of breastfeeding in Chad: evidence from nationally representative cross-sectional data.

Oxford University Press (OUP)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International health, 2021
Issue Date:
Full metadata record


Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIB) is an inexpensive practice but has a substantial potential to reduce neonatal morbidity. Therefore, this study investigated the maternal and child-related factors associated with EIB and makes recommendations that could help improve the practice in Chad.


We used data from the children's recode file of the 2014-2015 Chad Demographic and Health Survey. A total of 3991 women ages 15-49 y who had last-born children in the 2 y preceding the survey were included in our study. The outcome variable for the study was EIB. Both descriptive (frequencies and percentages) and inferential (binary logistic regression) analyses were carried out. All results of the binary logistic analyses are presented as adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


We found the prevalence of EIB in Chad to be 23.8%. In terms of maternal factors, the likelihood of EIB was high among non-working women (aOR 1.37 [95% CI 1.18 to 1.59]), the richest wealth quintile women (aOR 1.37 [95% CI 1.04 to 1.79]) and non-media-exposed women (aOR 1.58 [95% CI 1.24 to 2.02]) compared with working women, the poorest wealth quintile women and media-exposed women, respectively. EIB was lower among children whose mothers had one to three antenatal care visits (ANC; aOR 0.73 [95% CI 0.61 to 0.87]) and four or more ANC visits (aOR 0.80 [95% CI 0.66 to 0.97]) compared with those who had no ANC visits. With the child factors, EIB was higher among mothers of children who were smaller than average size at birth compared with those of larger than average birth size (aOR 1.47 [95% CI 1.24 to 1.74]). Mothers of children of fifth-order or more births compared with those of first-order births (aOR 1.51 [95% CI 1.07 to 2.12]) and those who were delivered through vaginal birth compared with those delivered through caesarean section (aOR 4.71 [95% CI 1.36 to 16.24]) were more likely to practice EIB.


Maternal and child-related factors play roles in EIB in Chad. Hence, it is important to consider these factors in maternal and neonatal health interventions. Such initiatives, including training of outreach health workers, health education, counselling sessions and awareness-raising activities on breastfeeding geared towards EIB should be undertaken. These should take into consideration the employment status, wealth quintile, exposure to mass media, size of the baby at birth, ANC visits, parity and delivery method.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: