Gamze ÖZGÜRHAN
(İstanbul Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Pediatri Kliniği, İstanbul, Türkiye)
Serdar CÖMERT
(İstanbul Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi, Pediatri Kliniği, Neonatoloji Bölümü, İstanbul, Türkiye)
Yıl: 2020Cilt: 21Sayı: 4ISSN: 2619-9793 / 2148-094XSayfa Aralığı: 301 - 306İngilizce

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An Evaluation of the Factors Affecting Exclusive Breastfeeding
Introduction: Breast milk is not only the ideal nourishment for babies, but is also unique in terms of its health benefits for mothers and economic benefits for the society. The World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund support exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of post-natal life. Methods: A total of 355 mothers who all delivered in our hospital were included in this study. A questionnaire was created to include questions regarding the mothers’ opinions about breast milk and their reasons for continuing or discontinuing exclusive breastfeeding. We collected other data separately, including the socio-cultural and socio-economic characteristics of the mothers, fathers and babies. Using the data collected, the mothers were grouped and compared according to their breastfeeding behaviour. Fathers were also grouped according to their paternal characteristics and their potential impact on the mothers’ breastfeeding behaviour was investigated. Results: In this study, 49% of the mothers expressed the belief that breast milk is healthy and protects babies from diseases. Of the mothers who discontinued exclusive breastfeeding, 44.3% did so because they thought their milk was insufficient for their babies. In addition, 56.5% of mothers continued exclusive breastfeeding at post-natal month 4 and 35.2% at month 6. A higher percentage of mothers with a high level of education continued exclusive breastfeeding (p=0.011). There was no statistically significant difference between the different age groups in terms of breastfeeding behaviour. Mothers with healthy medical histories were found to have continued exclusive breastfeeding for longer periods than the others (p=0.037). Mothers who had help at home also continued exclusive breastfeeding for longer periods (p=0.031). Mothers using pacifiers were found to have a higher exclusive breastfeeding discontinuation rate than the others (p=0.007). Conclusion: The leading reasons for discontinuing breastfeeding are incorrect and inadequate information about breastfeeding. Therefore, it is imperative that mothers are supported with appropriate and consistent education, both before and after birth, regarding the benefits of continued breastfeeding.
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