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Table 1 Description and categorization of independent variables

From: Prelacteal feeding practice and its associated factors among mothers having children less than 2 years of age in East Africa: a multilevel analysis of the recent demographic and health surveys

Variables Description/categorization of independent variables
Individual-level variables
 Women age It was the current age of the mother and grouped into seven categories: 15–19 years, 20–24 years, 25–29 years, 30–34 years, 35–39 years, 40–44 years, and 45–49 years.
 Educational level It was the minimum level of education the mother achieve and it was coded as no formal education, primary education, and secondary and above (combining secondary and higher education categories).
 Mother’s occupation It was the current working status of a woman, which was grouped into non-working and working.
 Wealth quantile In the DHS, it was based on wealth quintiles, with the first (lowest) quintile being the poorest, second (poorer), middle, fourth (rich), and the highest quintile being the richest. For our study, it was re-categorized as poor (includes the lowest and the second wealth quantiles), middle, and rich (includes the fourth and the highest wealth quantiles).
 ANC visit It was defined as the number of ANC visits while a mother was pregnant and it was coded as no ANC visit, 1–2 ANC visits, 3 ANC visits, and 4 and above ANC visits.
 Place of delivery Grouped into delivery at home and health facility.
 Delivery by cesarean section Categorized as yes (if the mother gave birth by CS) and no (otherwise).
 Timing of initiation of breastfeeding It was the time at which the mother gave breast milk to the newborn baby and categorized as early (at/within 1 h) and delayed (after 1 h).
 Perception of distance from the health facility It was based on whether the mother perceives distance from the health facility as a big problem or not a big problem
 media exposure Created by combining whether a respondent reads a newspaper, listens to the radio, and watches television and coded as yes (if a woman had been exposed to at least one of these media) and no (otherwise).
 Parity Categorized as Primiparous (having parity of one), multiparous (having parity of 2–4), and grand multiparous (having parity of 5 and above).
 Multiple birth It was coded as no (if women gave a single birth) and yes (otherwise)
 Sex of the child The sex of the child was categorized into female and male.
 Size of the child at birth It was based on the mother’s perception and categorized as very small, smaller than average, average, larger than average, and very large in the DHS. This variable was re-categorized into small (very small, smaller than average), average (average), and large (larger than average and very large) for our study.
Community-level variables
 Residence The place of residence for the mother and coded as rural and urban
 Community-level women education It was the proportion of women with a minimum of primary level of education derived from data on mothers or respondent’s level of education. Then, it was categorized using national median value to values: low (if the mother was from communities in which ≤50% of women had at least primary education) and high (if the mother was from communities in which > 50% of women had at least primary education) community educational level.
 Community poverty level It was the proportion of women in the poorest and poorer quintiles derived from data on the household wealth index. Then, it was categorized, based on national median value, into: low (if the mother was from communities in which ≤50% of women had poor socioeconomic status) and high (if the mother was from communities in which > 50% of women had poor socioeconomic status) community poverty level.
 Community-level of ANC utilization It was the proportion of women with at least one ANC visit and categorized using national level quartiles to: low (if the mother was from communities in which ≤25% of women utilizing ANC), middle (if the mother was from communities in which 25–75% of women utilizing ANC), and high (if the mother was from communities in which ≥75% of women utilizing ANC) community-level ANC utilization.
 Community-level media exposure The proportions of mothers who were exposed to media within a specific cluster. It was categorized in the same fashion as the community level of women’s education into low and high community-level of media exposure.
  1. Note: ANC = Antenatal Care, CS=Cesarean Section, DHS=Demographic and Health Surveys