To assess feeding practices and factors associated with anemia status among lactating mothers in South-west Ethiopia.
This is a baseline cross- sectional survey as part of a quasi-experimental study design aimed at empirical evidence for effectiveness of an intervention that integrates child-centered nutrition counseling approach with home-based food production to improve dietary intake and growth of infants and young children in rural South West Ethiopia. A total of 404 mother and child pairs were included in the study. The baseline survey was collected in Jan 2014. Interviewer administered structured questionnaire was used to obtain information. A structured questionnaire prepared in local language was used to collect data on socio-demographic variables, food security, household dietary diversity score and other factors. Weight and height measurements was taken in duplicate using calibrated equipment’s and standardized techniques. Fingertip capillary blood samples were taken and on-site hemoglobin assay was done using portable hemoglobin meter (HemoCue, UK). Data was entered using Epi-data data entry software. STATA version 12 was used for analysis.
Data was obtained from 355 mothers. The mean (SD) age of mothers was 26.4(+5.2). The prevalence of maternal anemia using hemoglobin concertation was 28.7%. More than half (67.4%) of lactating mothers were reported fed less than recommended six food groups 24 hours before the survey. Fifty five (17.7%) of the participants had at least one form of food insecurity access (mild, moderate and severe food insecurity). Mothers who consumed less than recommended food groups were 2.3 times more likely to be anemic (AOR=2.34, 95% CI (1.1-5.47)). Number of meals consumed by mother per day, educational status and food security status of households were also predictors of maternal anemia in the study area.
More than half of the lactating mothers in the study area were feed less than the recommended six food groups. A quarter of lactating mothers were found to be anemic. Maternal dietary diversity score, frequency of feeding, mother’s education status and food security status of participants were identified predictors for anemia status in the study area. Hence, integrated intervention focusing on diversifying diet and aiming improving nutritional status (micronutrient and macro nutrient) of mothers and children is recommended.