Does postnatal care have a role in improving newborn feeding? A study in 15 sub-Saharan African countries


ja-17-250

Author(s): Shane M Khan, Ilene S Speizer, Kavita Singh, Gustavo Angeles, Nana AY Twum–Danso, and Pierre Barker

Year: 2017


JOGH 2017; 7: 020506
Does postnatal care have a role in improving newborn feeding? A study in 15 sub-Saharan African countries Abstract:

Background
Breastfeeding is known as a key intervention to improve newborn health and survival while prelacteal feeds (liquids other than breastmilk within 3 days of birth) represents a departure from optimal feeding practices. Recent programmatic guidelines from the WHO and UNICEF outline the need to improve newborn feeding and points to postnatal care (PNC) as a potential mechanism to do so. This study examines if PNC and type of PNC provider are associated with key newborn feeding practices: breastfeeding within 1 day and prelacteal feeds.

Methods
We use data from the Demographic and Health Surveys for 15 sub-Saharan African countries to estimate 4 separate pooled, multilevel, logistic regression models to predict the newborn feeding outcomes.

Findings
PNC is significantly associated with increased breastfeeding within 1day (OR = 1.35, P < 0.001) but is not associated with PLFs (OR = 1.04, P = 0.195). PNC provided by nurses, midwives and untrained health workers is also associated with higher odds of breastfeeding within 1 day of birth (OR = 1.39, P < 0.001, (OR = 1.95, P < 0.001) while PNC provided by untrained health workers is associated with increased odds of PLFs (OR = 1.20, P = 0.017).

Conclusions
PNC delivered through customary care may be an effective strategy to improve the breastfeeding within 1 day but not to discourage PLFs. Further analysis should be done to examine how these variables operate at the country level to produce finer programmatic insight.

This document is not available in print from MEASURE Evaluation.

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