Breastfeeding Patterns in an Urban Area in Baghdad


ABSTRACT:BACKGROUND:The World Health Organization (WHO) & UNICEF, have recommended for a decade that mothers breastfeed for at least 2 years .Recently, there has been a stress on exclusive breast feeding for the first four to six months of life .METHODS:By using the 'current status analysis method'. Mothers of 650 infants from 0 to 12 months of age attending a Health Center were interviewed about the current feedingpatterns of the infants and other socioeconomic variables. Month-wise prevalence of feeding patterns was determined.RESULTS:It was observed that breast feeding was maintained at a high level (more than 90%) throughout infancy while exclusive breast feeding showed a rapid decline.At 1st month of age 78% , and at 4th month of age 50 % of infants were exclusively breast-fed.CONCLUSION:Breast feeding as such was maintained at a high level for the first 12 months of life while the practice of exclusive breast feeding was much lower