Determinants of prelacteal feeding practice in Uganda;a population based cross-sectional study using Uganda demographic and health survey data

Ibrahim Isa Koire1, Ayla Acikgoz2*, Turkan Gunay3

  1. Central College Kawaala, Kampala, Uganda
  2. Vocational School of Health Services, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey
  3. Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University, Izmir, Turkey

*Corresponding Authors: Ayla Acikgoz; E-mail:


Breastfeeding has well-established short-term and long-term health benefits for both the mother and infant. Initiating breastfeeding immediately after birth stimulates breast milk production. Prelacteal feeding (PLF) may result in late initiation of breastfeeding, and thus insufficient production of breast milk. This study aimed to identify the determinants of PLF among children under five years in Uganda.
This cross-sectional study was conducted using the data from the database of Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2011. The data of 4,774 children/mothers were evaluated in this study.
The prevalence of PLF was 40.3%. The rate of PLF practice was found to be 2.15 times higher in women with moderate economic status and 2.02 times higher in women with high economic status compared to those who have low economic status. The rate of PLF practice was found to be 1.73 times higher in newborns delivered by an unskilled birth attendant and 4.35 times higher in newborns delivered with no birth attendant compared to those infants delivered by a skilled birth attendant. The ratio of PLF practice was found to be 2.49 times higher in multiple births. Mothers who initiated breastfeeding in the first 24 hours after birth had higher odds of PLF. No relationship was found between PLF practice with some sociodemographic characteristics of mother’s (age, marital status, educational status, religion, residential location), maternal factors (number of children, antenatal and postnatal care attendance, place
of delivery), and characteristics of the newborn infants (sex, type of delivery, birth order number) in the multivariate logistic regression analysis.
All mothers should be informed about the importance of initiation of breastfeeding immediately after delivery, the risks associated with PLF, the optimal practices for breastfeeding, and the presence of a skilled birth attendant at delivery.
Keywords: prelacteal feeding, newborn, infants, Uganda, breastfeeding, breast milk.

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