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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 855-861

The barriers to breastfeeding among women: a single-center experience

1 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Berket El-Sabaa Health Administration, Berket El-Sabaa City, Egypt
2 Department of Family Medicine, Berket El-Sabaa Health Administration, Berket El-Sabaa City, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Sara S.A Sakr
Department of Family Medicine, Berket El-Sabaa Health Administration, Berket El-Sabaa City, Menoufia Governorate
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mmj.mmj_869_17

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Objective To estimate the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) and to identify barriers to breastfeeding among the studied mothers in Berket El-Sabaa District, Menoufia Governorate, Egypt. Background Human breast milk is the ideal and unique food for infants. However, most infants today still do not receive the full benefits of breastfeeding. Low breastfeeding rates during the first 6 months imply that mothers are constantly faced with multiple barriers to continue breastfeeding. Patients and methods The study was a cross-sectional study. It was conducted on 370 mothers of infants aged 2–6 months. All participants were interviewed using a predesigned questionnaire included personal data about mothers and their youngest infants, socioeconomic status, and barriers of initiation and EBF. Results Nearly two-thirds of the mothers (60%) came from the rural area, and 55.1% were housewives. Nearly two-thirds of mothers' families (61.6%) had moderate socioeconomic status. Only 28.6% of infants were exclusively breastfed. The most prominent barriers to EBF were lack of health education about breastfeeding (84.1%) (P ≤ 0.001), hungry infant (43.2%) (P ≤ 0.001), nipple fissures and soreness (40.2%) (P = 0.002), easiness of artificial feeding (39.4%) (P ≤ 0.001), and belief of insufficient milk supply (37.9%) (P ≤ 0.001). Conclusion Prevalence of EBF is low among studied group. Many barriers obscure breastfeeding making it nonexclusive. Awareness should be raised about benefits of EBF for the first 6 months of infant's life and breastfeeding problems and how to overcome them.

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