Purpose: The prevalence of stunting in children under five years old is high (37.9 percent). The health advantage of breast milk as a prevention is recognized. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship of early initiation to breastfeeding, wherein a child is breastfed within an hour of birth, as a means of preventing stunted growth in 6–59 month old children in Jambi province, Indonesia. Design/methodology/approach: This paper used data from the 2015 National Nutrition Survey in Jambi province. A total of 2,502 children aged 6–59 months were analyzed by binary logistic regression. Findings: The results showed that as many as 27.5 percent (95% CI: 25.2–29.9) children aged 6–59 months were stunted and 54.1 percent (95% CI: 51.1–57.1) had not been introduced to breastfeeding soon after birth. The analysis showed that delayed initiation to breastfeeding is a significant factor in stunting amongst 6–59 month old children. (p=0.024; AOR=1.3; 95% CI: 1.0–1.6). Other results of the analysis showed a significant association between water source and birth weight issues as causes for stunting. Originality/value: Research revealed that delayed initiation into breastfeeding results in a 1.3 times higher risk of stunting. Furthermore, early initiation to breastfeeding reduces the risk of consuming polluted river water that is a health risk and cause of stunting.
- Early initiation to breastfeeding
- Stunting in children