Infant feeding practices in the first 6 months and associated factors in a rural and semiurban community in Mangochi District, Malawi

Penjani Kamudoni, Kenneth Maleta, Zumin Shi, Gerd Holmboe-Ottesen

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27 Citations (Scopus)


This cross-sectional study aimed at investigating infant feeding practices and their sociodemographic correlates in Mangochi District, Malawi. Questionnaire data from 157 rural and 192 semiurban mother-infant pairs were obtained. Early breastfeeding (<1 hour after delivery) was practiced among 68.2% of the rural and 63% of the semiurban mothers. Colostrum was given by 96% of the sampled mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding rates in the sample at 2, 4, and 6 months were 39.1%, 27.5%, and 7.5%, respectively. At 4 months, exclusive breastfeeding was significantly higher in the semiurban (46.8%) than in the rural (4.7%) group. Living in the rural area (OR = 1.87; 95% CI 1.26-2.76) and giving birth outside a health facility (OR = 1.36; 95% CI 1.00-1.85) were risk factors for stopping exclusive breastfeeding before 6 months. The results suggest that semiurban mothers are more likely to practice optimum breastfeeding and that health facilities have an important role in its promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Demographic Factors
  • Eexclusive breast feeding
  • Infant-feeding behavior
  • Malawi
  • Maternal health services
  • Maternal-child health services
  • Optimum breast feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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