Timely initiation of breastfeeding is defined as putting the newborn to the breast within 1 h of birth. In Ethiopia, different studies have been conducted to assess the prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding and associated factors. The findings of these studies were inconsistent and characterized by great variability. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the pooled prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding and its association with birth place in Ethiopia using the available studies.
Databases, including PubMed, Google scholar, Science direct and Cochrane library were systematically searched. All original studies reporting the prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding in Ethiopia were considered. Two authors independently extracted all necessary data using a standardized data extraction format. STATA 11 statistical software was used to analyze the data. The Cochrane Q test statistics and I 2 test were used to assess the heterogeneity between the studies. A random effect model was computed to estimate the pooled prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding. In addition, the associations between timely initiation of breastfeeding and place of birth were determined.
Sixteen studies were finally included in the meta-analysis. The findings of this meta-analysis revealed that, the pooled prevalence of timely initiation of breastfeeding in Ethiopia was 61.4% (CI: 51.4, 71.5%). The study also indicated that rural mothers had lower rate of initiating breastfeeding within the first 1 h after delivery as compared to their urban counterparts. Additionally, mothers who gave birth at health institution were almost 2.11 times more likely to initiate breastfeeding within 1 h as compared to mothers who did not give birth at health institution.
In this study, timely initiation of breastfeeding in Ethiopia was significantly low compared to the current global recommendation on breastfeeding. Women from rural area were less likely to initiate breastfeeding within 1 h as compared with women from urban areas. Mothers who give birth at health institution were more likely to initiate breastfeeding timely.