Associated factors of breastfeeding practices among mothers in rural Vietnam: A community-based study

Published:October 26, 2022DOI:


      • Prevalence of early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding in rural Vietnam was lower than WHO recommended rates.
      • Women residing in urban areas were less likely to initiate early breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding.
      • Cesarean delivery reduced exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months postpartum.
      • Social support and infant sleep care might be helpful for breastfeeding mothers.



      To examine the factors associated with the early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in Vietnam during the first 6 months postpartum.

      Design and methods

      A cross-sectional study including 200 mother-infant dyads was conducted at community health stations. Information on demographic characteristics, modes of delivery, infant sleep problems, and breastfeeding practices was collected using structured questionnaires. The main independent variable of social support was assessed using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used.


      Among the study cohort, 37.5% of mothers had initiated breastfeeding within 1 h after birth, and 27.5% continued exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months postpartum. Mothers living in urban areas or who had undergone cesarean delivery were less likely to have initiated breastfeeding within 1 h after birth (p < 0.05). The odds of exclusive breastfeeding were lower among infants with longer waking hours at night (≥4 h) and sleep problems (p < 0.05). Support from the mother's significant other and friends was significantly associated with exclusive breastfeeding (p < 0.05).


      Early initiation of breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding were not common in a community sample of Vietnamese mothers. Identifying and assessing mothers who lack breastfeeding support is necessary to promote and sustain breastfeeding practices.

      Practice implication

      Further comprehensive breastfeeding interventions and support are needed for postpartum women in Vietnam.


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