Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding in Kenya: a systematic review


  • Leah N. Mututho Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Willy K. Kiboi Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Patrick K. Mucheru Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya




Exclusive breastfeeding, Factors, Infants, Kenya


World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed (EBF) for the first six months of life. Breast milk is considered an ideal food for the healthy growth and development of the infant. Exclusive breastfeeding is also important in ensuring the health of the mother. Lack of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of a child’s life is considered a risk for infant and childhood morbidity and mortality. In Kenya, sub-optimal breastfeeding practices are still prevalent which has contributed to high rates of under nutrition. Different studies done in Kenya have reported varying factors as potential determinants of exclusive breastfeeding. These factors have been reported under different contexts and settings. This paper explores these factors, which can help in policy making and informing other relevant interventions promoting exclusive breastfeeding. Literature was searched through Freefullpdf, Google scholar and PubMed (Medline) using the following key terms; exclusive breastfeeding in Kenya, determinants of exclusive breastfeeding and factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding. Only peer reviewed articles, and research theses were included. Additionally, only literature reporting on exclusive breastfeeding practices and its associated factors was included. A total of 20 papers were included in the review. The following factors were found to be associated with exclusive breastfeeding; socioeconomic, demographic, maternal, socio-cultural, social and psychosocial support factors. Strategies targeting socioeconomic, demographic, maternal, socio-cultural, social and psychosocial support factors for improving exclusive breastfeeding should be up scaled. Behavior change communication on appropriate exclusive breastfeeding practices is also highly recommended. 


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How to Cite

Mututho, L. N., Kiboi, W. K., & Mucheru, P. K. (2017). Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding in Kenya: a systematic review. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 4(12), 4358–4362. https://doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20175305



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