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Determinants of time-trends in exclusivity and continuation of breastfeeding in India: An investigation from the National Family Health Survey
Authors: Pritam Ghosh, Pratima Rohatgi, Kaushik Bose
Source: Social Science and Medicine, Volume 292; DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114604
Topic(s): Breastfeeding
Country: Asia
Published: DEC 2021
Abstract: Breastfeeding is an essential key factor for reducing child mortality and the risk of disease. Therefore, to ensure health and wellbeing for all (Sustainable Development Goal 03), and to reduce inequalities in child health status (SDG 10), understanding the determinants of breastfeeding is essential. Our research aims to investigate determinants of different breastfeeding practices from 2005-06 (NFHS-3) to 2015-16 (NFHS-4), and changes in different breastfeeding practices among various demographic, social, religious, and economic groups during this decade. We have used a multivariate binary logistic regression model to estimate significant determinants of different breastfeeding practices. The results show an 8.4% hike in Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF), along with a 3.3% and 1% drop in the Continuation of Breastfeeding (CBF) up to one and two years respectively during this decade in India. Significant variation has been found in EBF, CBF1 and CBF2 among various categories of child's birth interval, place of residence, social groups, economic communities, and geographic regions. Maternal nutritional status and anemia levels had significant influence on CBF1 and CBF2, and gender of the children on EBF and CBF2 from 2005-06 to 2015-16. There was no significant variation in CBF1 and CBF2 among children born in different birth orders, whereas EBF was significantly less among higher birth orders children. A dramatic improvement in EBF was found among first birth ordered children, teenage and/or highly educated mother, rich families, and in north India, and CBF2 was significantly raised only among higher educated mothers. The estimation of determinants throughout the decade is essential for improving government policies related to supporting and encouraging breastfeeding. The study suggests more initiatives and investment for the promotion, support and improvement of CBF for one and two years, and reduction of inequality among various demographic and socio-economic groups and geographic regions.