Breastfeeding Practices and Knowledge in Indonesia

Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Jul 29, 2017
Authors
Amanda Beatty, Nick Ingwersen, and Clair Null

Key Findings:

  • Rates of exclusive breastfeeding were low: Only 20% of children were exclusively breastfed for a full six months. Offering these w omen more encouragement and education about the benefits of eliminating prelacteal feeding could substantially increase the share (from 21 to 38 per cent) of children who are exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life.
  • Health providers and communities should discourage prelacteal feeding. Seventeen percent of women breastfed exclusively except for the prelacteal feed. Offering these women more encouragement and education about the benefits of eliminating prelacteal feeding could substantially increase the share (from 21 to 38 per cent) of children who are exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life.
  • Because nearly half of children received food or liquid other than breastmilk or formula regularly before six months, breastfeeding promotion campaigns should focus on when it is appropriate to introduce complementary feeding. Formula use was common (about 30 percent use it regularly) and potentially crowded out some breastfeeding; but a potentially bigger problem was initiating liquids other than breastmilk or formula and food before six months.
  • There is scope for most caregivers to learn about exclusive breastfeeding. While most caregivers knew that breastfeeding was beneficial, less than half of them knew about the recommendation to practice exclusive breastfeeding for six months.
This breastfeeding brief takes a detailed look at breastfeeding practices and knowledge in the first two years of life among caregivers of children 0-35 months old in rural areas of Central Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, and South Sumatra in Indonesia. The brief also examines correlates of exclusive breastfeeding. Data used in this analysis was collected between November 2014 and February 2015.