PATTERN OF INFANT FEEDING
AbstractThe aims of this study were to find the prevalence of different patterns of infants feeding in relation to the back ground characteristics of their mothers and to explore the causes of breast feeding failure in Thi-Qar. Across sectional study was conducted in four primary health care centers in Thi- Qar .Total sample of 512 mothers ,whose infants less than two years were included in the study . Data about feeding practices were collected by interviewing the mothers using standard questionnaire designed for the study. The rate of different infants feeding practices were (90.8%) breast feeding, (55.1%)exclusive breast feeding , (35.7%) mixed feeding and (9.1%) bottle feeding among infants less than 6 months old. The rate of breast feeding decreased rapidly among other age groups reaching (72.2%) at age 1-2 years . There was no significant association between patterns of infants feeding and age, parity and educational level of mothers .However, going to work , oral contraceptive use and delivery by caesarean section were significantly associated with bottle feeding . The main reasons for bottle feeding were insufficient breast milk (53.4%) and going back to work (18.2%),and Pediatricians (45.6%) were found to be the main persons prescribing infants formula for mothers. In conclusion, breast feeding was common practice of infants feeding among mothers in Thi-Qar regardless their age, parity and level of education ,while pediatricians , going to work oral contraceptive use and delivery by caesarean section were the main contributors to breast feeding cessation and switch to bottle feeding. Therefore, the health educational programs to promote breast feeding are necessary for both mothers and health care providers ,and the health care providers should also take into consideration the negative impact of caesarean section deliveries and early oral contraceptive use on breast feeding practice.
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