Dr. Eman Al-Mohandis
Joint program of family medicine at Makkah – 2012
The World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the US Preventive Services Task Force, all recommend exclusive breast-feeding for the first 6 months of life.
To estimate the prevalence of exclusive breast-feeding and its associated factors among children attending well-baby clinic at Al-Eskan Primary Health Care (PHC) Center, Makkah Al-Mokarramah in August 2012. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted including mothers attending well-baby clinic with their children at Al-Eskan PHC Center, Makkah Al-Mokarramah. A valid interviewing questionnaire was applied including demographic data of mothers (age, nationality, education, marital status, income, job, number of children, and age of the last child) and history of feeding of the index child and factors related to the exclusive breast-feeding.
The study included 65 mothers aged between 19 and 44 years, with a mean of 28.6 years and standard deviation of 5.7 years. Of them, 49 mothers (75.4%) initially breast-fed their infants. Only 12 of them (18.5%) performed exclusive breast-feeding during the first 6 months after delivery. Among mothers who initiated breast-feeding after delivery (n = 49), 18 (36.7%) stopped breast-feeding before the age of 6 months and 9 (18.4%) stopped breast-feeding between the age of 6 months and 1 year whereas 22 mothers (44.9%) continued breast-feeding. No statistical significant relationship was found between any of the studied parameters and the practice of exclusive breast-feeding. Slightly less than half of mothers (46.2%) mentioned that exclusive breast milk is not enough in the first 6 months of child’s life whereas 33.8% of them mentioned that it is enough.
Breast-feeding exclusivity among our sample is suboptimal, compared to the current WHO recommendations. Almost half of women reported that exclusive breast milk is not enough in the first 6 months of child’s life. KEY WORDS: Exclusive, breast-feeding, well-baby, prevalence.