Mothers’ Thoughts, Beliefs, and Habits in Breastfeeding in Baghdad

Abstract

ABSTRACT:BACKGROUND: Mothers should breastfeed their children exclusively for the first six months of their children's life, if they really want to protect their children from malnutrition, diseases, obesity and its complicationsOBJECTIVE: is to assess breastfeeding knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) among mothers attending outpatient clinic in Fatema Alzahra baby friendly hospital.METHODS:A cross-sectional study from 1st of January 2018 to 15th of November 2018, among mothers attending outpatient clinic in Fatema Alzahra hospital. Mothers who had one child aged two years or older at the time of the study was evaluated for their KAP in breastfeeding using direct questionnaire, which contained socio-demographic characteristics of mothers like age, educational level, number of children, mode of delivery, and employment. The questionnaire also contained questions regarding their knowledge, attitude and practices of lactation based on their customs of breastfeeding in the last child.RESULTS: Three hundred mothers enrolled in the study, 135 (45%) of them were 20 -30 years of age, 162(54%) finish the primary school, 60(20%) of them finish the high school, 237 (79%) were unemployed, 186(62%) of mothers had normal vaginal delivery, 288(96%) of mothers know that breastfeeding has benefit for children. Only seventy two (24%) of the mothers know about the exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), All of the mothers know that breastfeeding is better for their children, but 180(60%) of them know that breastfeeding prevent disease in children. And 42(14%) mothers know that breast milk is easy to digestion.CONCLUSION: Breastfeeding initiation rate was high but the EBF rate at 6th month of life was low. We found that there was a deficiency in mother`s knowledge about exclusive breastfeeding, and in dealing with breast engorgement and nipple crack during early days of breastfeeding. There was a gap in mother’s practice of breast milk extraction.KEYWORDS: breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding, baby friendly hospital