Background: There is a paucity of data regarding risk factors associated with suboptimal breastfeeding practices in urbanized areas of low-middle income countries (LMICs). Methods: Through a large prospective birth cohort, which enrolled 6706 infants in Vietnam between 2009 and 2013, we investigated the practice of exclusive breastfeeding during hospital stay in urban and semi-rural populations and aimed to identify factors associated with suboptimal breastfeeding practices. Univariate and multivariable logistic regression were performed to determine factors associated with not exclusive breastfeeding during hospital stay. Results: Of 6076 mothers, 33% (2187) breastfed their infant exclusively before hospital discharge; 9% (364/4248) in urban and 74% (1823/2458) in semi-rural areas. Exclusive breastfeeding up to 4 months was recorded in 15% (959/6210) of participants; this declined to <1% (56/6093) at 6 months. Delivery by Caesarean section (Odds Ratio [OR] 0.07; 95% Confidence Interval [CI] 0.04, 0.11 and OR 0.05; 95% CI 0.03, 0.08) and neonatal complications (OR 0.2; 95% CI 0.07, 0.47 and OR 0.25; 95% CI 0.14, 0.46) were common and highly significant risk factors associated with a lack of exclusive breastfeeding during hospital stay in urban and semi-rural settings, respectively. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale investigation aimed at identifying factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding during hospital stay in Vietnam. Breastfeeding promotion strategies should prioritize common risk factors in hospital, such as Caesarean section and neonatal complications, and other location specific factors associated with socioeconomics.
- Risk factor