Breast-feeding counselling mitigates the negative association of domestic violence on exclusive breast-feeding duration in rural Bangladesh. the MINIMat randomized trial

Document Type


Publication Date



Objective To determine if exclusive breast-feeding counselling modifies the association of experience of any lifetime or specific forms of domestic violence (DV) on duration of exclusive breast-feeding (EBF). Design In the MINIMat trial pregnant women were randomized to receive either usual health messages (UHM) or usual health messages with breast-feeding counselling (BFC) in eight visits. During pregnancy (30 weeks), lifetime experience of any or specific forms of DV was measured. Infant feeding practice information was collected from 0 to 6 months at 15 d intervals. Setting Matlab, Bangladesh. Subjects Pregnant and postpartum women (n 3186) and their infants. Results Among women in the UHM group, those who had experienced any lifetime DV exclusively breast-fed for a shorter duration than women who did not experience any lifetime DV (P=0·02). There was no difference, however, in duration of EBF among women in the BFC group based on their experience of any lifetime DV exposure (P=0·48). Using Cox regression analysis, there was an interaction of exposure to any lifetime DV, sexual violence and controlling behaviour, and counselling group with duration of breast-feeding at or before 6 months (P-interaction≤0·08). Among the UHM group, experience of any lifetime DV, sexual violence or controlling behaviour was associated with fewer days of EBF (P<0·05). In contrast, among the BFC group, experience of DV was not associated with duration of EBF. Conclusions The experience of DV compromises EBF and the support of breast-feeding counselling programmes could assist this vulnerable group towards better infant feeding practices.

Publication Name

Public Health Nutrition

Volume Number


First Page


Last Page


Issue Number




This document is currently not available here.