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Original Research

IJMDC. 2018; 2(2): 59-64

Mother's breastfeeding knowledge, barriers and practices: a descriptive survey

Shatha Saleh Al Harbi, Syed Irfan Karim, Saleh Suliman Al Harbi, Afnan Abdullah Almalki, Atheer Mohammed Aljeraibah, Shahad Mohammed Aljeraibah, Nada Ahmad Alsomali, Ruba Mahmoud Barnawi.

Background: Breastfeeding (BF) is necessary and of core importance for both infants as well as for the mother.
Methodology: In this descriptive analytic cross-sectional study, convenience sampling method was used to select the study sample during the year 20162017. A structured questionnaire was administered to 497 mothers attending the well-baby clinic at a large tertiary care hospital located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, along with chi-square test and analysis of variance.
Results: Majority (62.3%) mothers were BF and knew about exclusive BF (EBF) (54.2%). Almost half (48%) continued BF for more than 1 year. Health of the infant was identified as the primary reason by majority of mothers to breastfeed (81%) and the most identified reasons for stopping BF during the first 2 years were inadequate breast milk (33%) where baby was not satisfied after feeding (20%) and too tiring to feed (19%). A significant association was found between the employment status of mothers and the duration of BF, initiation of BF and knowledge about the recommended months to only breastfeed. Similarly, monthly income was found to be statistically significant for knowledge about EBF.
Conclusion: A high proportion of the mothers practiced BF. However, working status was a barrier to continuing it. Policies for more extended maternity leave and workplace child care centers can be a solution. Encouraging mothers to continue to breastfeed after they return to work might help.

Key words: Breastfeeding, Exclusive breastfeeding, Breast milk, Feeding

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