Background: Exclusive breastfeeding is the most widely known and effective intervention for preventing early-childhood deaths. Optimum breastfeeding practices can prevent 1.4 million deaths worldwide among children under five every year.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding and associated factors among mothers who have an infant six months up to one year old in Hargeisa, Somaliland
Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted from November to December, 2019. A cluster along with simple random sampling technique was used to select sample population. A total of 357 mothers with children aged six months to one year old were included in this study. Data were collected using questionnaires administered at interview. Both bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding.
Results: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was 68%.Those mothers who were heard information on EBF [AOR = 14.243CI (4.630, 43.816)], attend ANC service [AOR = 25.412(3.506, 184.179)], received breastfeeding counseling during antenatal care (ANC) [AOR = 6.037 (2.878, 12.666)], aware that breastfeeding is enough the child up to six months [AOR = 3.411(1.536, 7.577)], and had fed colostrum [AOR = 4.663CI (2.107, 10.321)] were more likely to practice EBF than their counterparts.
Conclusion: The proportion of exclusive breastfeeding in the district was below WHO Infant and Young Child Feeding recommendations. The practice of exclusive breastfeeding in mothers of children aged 6 months up to one year old was influenced by receiving information about EBF, colostrum discharging, awareness of breast feeding is enough the child up to six month, antenatal care visit practice and breastfeeding counselling during ANC (P < 0.05).