Patterns of Infant Feeding and Factors Associated with Them among Sample of Mothers in Kerbala City


background: Breastfeeding improves the health, development, and survival of all children. As well as, saving life and improving the health of mothers. Further, it reduces economic burden on families and the community. Objectives: To identify patterns of infant feeding including breastfeeding. To assess the initiation of breastfeeding. And to recognize factors associated with these patterns. Subjects and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Kerbala city. A random sample of mothers of infants aged 1 to 12 months was selected and interviewed. Mothers attended two primary health care centers and outpatient clinics of Kerbala Teaching Hospital for Children in Kerbala city for caring of their infants were considered eligible for the study. Interviews were carried out during period January 2 – June 30, 2015.Results: Total of 317 mothers was enrolled in the study, (59%) of their babies were males. Mothers age range from (15-42) years with a mean and standard deviation age of 25 ± 5.98 years. Breastfeeding was the predominant feeding type (62%). Breastfeeding was significantly associated with younger maternal age, being vaginally delivered, being multipara and encouraging husband role. The initiation of breastfeeding was in the first hour in 73% of the mothers. And breastfeeding initiation within the first hour was negatively associated with being delivered by Caesarean section. While the main source of mother information regarding feeding was the family.Conclusion: Breastfeeding was the predominant type of feeding. Choosing and continuation of breastfeeding was positively associated with younger maternal age, normal vaginal delivery, multiparty and husband support.