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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2007  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 318 - 322

Factors Affecting Mother`s Choices and Decisions Related to Breast Feeding Practices and Weaning Habits

Ahmed A. Al-Shoshan    

Abstract: Infant feeding practices were observed and weaning habits were examined for 1791 Saudi mothers whom been admitted for delivery at maternity hospitals in Riyadh. Pre-lactic feeding was practiced by 10.5% of mothers, 74.4% of mothers performed exclusive Breast feeding, 42% of them initiate it within the first hour of delivery. Even though not significant, percentage of mothers who breast-fed was higher among older, child-bearing, nonworking, of lower family income and less educated mothers than their contrast. Retrospectively, Breast feeding duration mean was 11.10±8.37 months and weaning was initiated by 11.3%, 40.8% at the first month and before the six month of the infant life respectively. Of mothers, 62% said they are influenced by health providers in their decision for feeding their babies and in selecting specific brand of milk or supplementary foods products. However, only 34.7% say they discuss the feeding practices with health providers and only 21.2% say they think the role of health providers in supporting mother decision is adequate. Insufficient breast milk was the main reason for diverting to mixed feeding while advices by others and mother`s own experience were the most source of information. Further studies of factors affecting mother`s determination and practice of Breast feeding are recommended. Polices and educational efforts to promote exclusive Breast feeding and to prevent further changes also needed. A real change in health provider`s attitudes and practices is also emphasized.

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