Background: The nutritional status of lactating women is very important since it also affects the health of their children. However, there was limited information on maternal nutrition status in low-income countries like Ethiopia, especially in the study area.
Methods: Institutional based cross-sectional study was conducted among 401 lactating women in Dire Dawa town health facilities from February 10/02/2019 – March 30/ 03/2019. All variables with a p-value of less than 0.25 were entered into multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with undernutrition.
Result: Prevalence of undernutrition was 22 %. Women who age 15-25 years were four times more likely undernourished than older [AOR=4.04(CI: (1.74, 9.40)]. Unable to read and write Women were almost five times more likely to be undernourished than formal education [AOR=4.76 CI: (2.31, 9.81)]. Women who have family size >7 were six times more likely to be undernourished than family size < 3 [AOR=5.53 CI :( 1.15, 26.53)]. Women not take additional food during lactating were 4.5 times more likely undernourished than take additional food [AOR=4.56 CI (1.50, 13.9)]. DD score < 5 were four times more likely to be undernourished than (>= 5) DD [AOR= 4 CI: (2.02, 7.90)].
Conclusion: prevalence of undernutrition in the study area was high: Factors associated with undernu+trion were: Age of lactating women, Education status, and Family size, Additional food during lactation and DD score. Thus, multi-sectoral collaboration targeted at improving women’s educational status and increasing food during lactation need to be emphasized.