Determinants of early initiation of breastfeeding in Peru: analysis of the 2018 Demographic and Family Health Survey

Akram Hernández-Vásquez, Horacio Chacón-Torrico

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3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF) is one of the most cost-effective strategies to reduce neonatal mortality. We sought to determine the prevalence and determinants of EIBF in Peru. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional analytical study of the 2018 Peruvian Demographic and Family Health Survey as a secondary data source. In total, 19,595 children born during the 5 years prior to the survey were included in the study. The dependent variable (EIBF status), socio-demographic variables, and pregnancy-related variables were analyzed using a multivariate logistic regression model to identify the determinants of EIBF. RESULTS: The prevalence of EIBF in the study population was 49.7%. Cesarean deliveries were associated with a lower likelihood of EIBF (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.05 to 0.07) than were vaginal deliveries. Newborns born at public health centers (aOR, 1.37; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.65) had a higher rate of EIBF than those not born at public or private health centers. Women from the jungle region (aOR, 2.51; 95% CI, 2.17 to 2.89) had higher odds of providing EIBF than those from the coast. Mothers with more than a secondary education (aOR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.76) were less likely to breastfeed during the first hour of the newborn's life than women with primary or no education. CONCLUSIONS: More than half of Peruvian children do not breastfeed during the first hour after birth. The major determinants of EIBF status were the delivery mode and the region of maternal residence. Strategies are needed to promote early breastfeeding practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2019051
JournalEpidemiology and Health
StatePublished - 2019


  • Breastfeeding
  • Health surveys
  • Newborn
  • Peru


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