Background: During infancy and early childhood adequate nutrition is essential to ensure the growth, health, and development of children to their full potential. It has been recognized worldwide that breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child, as breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for an infant. Factors include the mother’s social class, occupation, educational attainment, cultural factors can influence the duration of breastfeeding (exclusive or partial).
Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the influence of mother’s occupation and education on breastfeeding and weaning practice of children in public Hospitals
Methodology: Hospital based cross sectional study design combining both qualitative and quantitative methods were used among mothers whose age is 15-49 years, while their infants’ ages range between 0 and 31 months were visiting HiwotFana and Jugal Hospital for immunization and under 5 years outpatient clinic seeking health service at Harar from February to May 2014 and the total of 425 study participant were selected and interviewed systematically every 3 mothers interval.
Result: Predictor variables identified in the bi variant analysis were maternal education especially secondary education, occupation like Daily labourer, frequency of breastfeeding, the presence of job in last 12 months prior to study were significant. In multiple regressions maternal education and occupation remain significant, mothers who were secondary education were 4 times more likely to exclusively breastfeed their child for 6 months and start complimentary diet at this age than mother who had diploma and above (AOR=4.364, 95% CL (1.369-13.907)) and regarding occupation, Mothers who had no job were 13 times more likely to EBF their child and initiate complementary diet at proper age than who had job, (AOR=13.219, 95% CL (3.200-34.602).
Conclusion: Prevalence of EBF was much lower than the WHO recommendation, and Ethiopian national HSDP target. Mother education were significant, mothers who had secondary education 3times more likely to EBF and initiate additional die at appropriate age, regarding mother’s occupation un employer mother 13 times more likely EBF and started complimentary diet at age of 6 month.