Background: Prelacteal feeding is administration of any food or fluid other than breast milk before initiation of breast feeding. Optimal breastfeeding including discouraging prelacteal feeding could save 823,000 lives per year among children ages five years old and younger. Despite of this mothers give prelacteal feeding to their child in different part of Ethiopia; However, there is a paucity of information on prevalence of prelacteal feeding and associated factors in the study area. Thus, the current study aimed at determining of the prevalence of prelacteal feeding and associated factors among mothers of children aged less than six months in Gozamen district, East Gojjam zone, North West Ethiopia, 2019-2020
Methods: A community -based cross-sectional study was conducted among 741 mothers of children aged less than six months in Gozamen district from August 2019 to Feb 2020. Stratified cluster sampling technique was used to select study participants. Data were collected by face to face interviewer-administered, pretested and semi-structured questionnaire. Descriptive analysis, bi-variable and multivariable logistic regression model were employed. Adjusted odds ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to identify factors associated with prelacteal feeding.
Results: In this study the prevalence of prelacteal feeding was found to be 17.1%with 95%CI [14.3, 20]. Mothers who had no ANC follow up [AOR: 7.53, CI; 3.32, 17.05], those mothers who did not discard colostrum [AOR: 0.12, CI; 0.07, 0.12] time of breast feeding initiation [AOR: 3.53, CI; 2.05, 6.11] and mothers who had single ANC visit [AOR: 2.98, CI; 1.52, 5.85] were significant independent factors associated with prelacteal feeding.
Conclusion: This study concluded that prelacteal feeding was high in the study area .Therefore, in order to tackle this problem strengthening antenatal follow up, timely initiation of breastfeeding, health education and awarenes creation of the communities are recommended interventions.