Introduction Contrary to the recommendation, children under the age of 6 months be exclusively breastfed, many infants are also fed with other liquids such as water, non-milk liquids, and other milks before 6 months. Because of level of education and proportion of employed women in Ethiopia has been increasing gradually. Consequently the practice of exclusive breastfeeding became very lower. The main objective of this study was to assess the magnitude and factors associated with the practice of exclusive breastfeeding among employed and unemployed mothers in Ethiopia, using dataset from EDHS 2016.
METHOD Data was extracted from Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS-2016). A total of 1089 mothers with infants aged 0 to 6 months in the data set were included in the analysis. Descriptive analysis, chi-square and binary logistic regression models were used.
RESULT This study has demonstrated a 64.7%, 95%CI(58.9-70.5) and 75.4%, 95%CI(72.378.2) prevalence of EBF practices among employed and unemployed mothers respectively in the 24h preceding the survey. Other factors associated with EBF practice included being unemployed mother, larger to normal birth weight; infant aged 0-3 month old, infant being male, have radio in the house, infant being wanted, delivery by non CS mode and presence of ANC follow up during pregnancy were found to be significantly associated with exclusive breastfeeding practice.
Conclusion the prevalence of exclusive breast feeding practice among employed mothers was significantly lower than that of unemployed mothers. Thus, Having in consideration the impact of appropriate infant and young children feeding practice on children’s nutritional status and mortality rate, policy makers still need to give more emphasis on promotion of exclusive breastfeeding through creating an enabling environment targeting the extension of postnatal maternity leave up to the first six month.