The Delivery at Public Health Facilities Associated with Early Initiation of Breastfeeding in Cambodia


Early initiation of breatfeeding
Associated factors
Public health facilities



Early initiation of breastfeeding within an hour of birth is one of the Cambodia Sustainable Development Goals. However, there is no evidence related to factors associated with early initiation breastfeeding in Cambodia. This study aimed to identify the contributing factors associated with early initiation of breastfeeding among Cambodian mothers.


This study used data from the Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS) 2014, which is a nationally representative sample study. In total, 7165 eligible mothers who had given birth within two years were analyzed. Sampling weight was taken into account in all analyses. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted. Crude associations between the outcome variable and all independent variables were tested by the chi-square test. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the main predictors of early initiation breastfeeding.


The early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of birth was 66.4%. Women who had delivery in public health facilities were almost 2 times more likely to initiate breastfeeding than those who had home delivery (AOR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.1-2.2, p <0.05). Likewise, women who delivered by cesarean section were 81% less likely to initiate breastfeeding than women who delivered without cesarean section (AOR = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.14-0.31, p <0.001). Women who gave birth from 2-3 children had higher odds of 1.38 of initiating breastfeeding than women who gave first birth (AOR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.10-1.53, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the baby weighing ? 2500 grams had higher odds of early initiation breastfeeding than the baby weighing less than 2500 grams (AOR = 1.70, 95%: CI 1.34-2.22, p <0.001). Place of residence, education level, number of ANC visits, delivery by doctor and by midwife were not significantly associated with early initiation of breastfeeding.


Using public health facilities to deliver babies is to engage women in the early initiation of breastfeeding. However, delivery by cesarean section, whether or not family or patient’s desire, should be not encouraged, and health care providers need to be understood the medical risk involving with the procedure, and waste of women’s and their family resources. The counseling during prenatal care is very important to address the benefits of first milk and remind us that early initiation of breastfeeding must be given to the baby regardless of low birth weight.