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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


BAUTISTA, Leonelo E.. Factors associated with the initiation of breast-feeding by women in the Dominican Republic. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.1, n.3, pp.200-207. ISSN 1680-5348.

The determinants of initiating breast-feeding vary among different populations, but knowledge of them is of fundamental importance for guiding programs to promote breast-feeding. Data from the Demographic and Health Survey of 1991 in the Dominican Republic were used to identify factors associated with the initiation of breast-feeding in a random sample of women of reproductive age. Approximately 93% of 2 714 mothers reported having begun to breast-feed their last live-born child who was currently under 5 years of age, and that percentage had not changed substantially in the past 5 years. A logistic regression analysis was done in which odds ratios (y) were calculated as measures of association. Women who had suffered some type of illness during pregnancy (y = 2.3), those whose child had a low birthweight (y = 2.9), primiparas (y = 1.9), and those with medium (y = 1.6) or high (y = 2.1) income levels showed a significantly higher risk of not starting to breast-feed. These women should be considered priority groups by breast-feeding promotion programs.

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