Maternal Knowledge and Attitude toward Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding (BMF) in the First 6 Months of Infant in Mashhad-Iran

Authors

1 Students Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences(MUMS), Mashhad, Iran.

2 Midwifery MSc, Faculty Member of Midwhfery Department, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran.

3 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences(MUMS), Mashhad, Iran.

4 Department of Pediatrics, North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences, Bojnurd, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction:
Breast milk is a complete food for growing children until 6 months of age, and mothers, as the most important child health care, play a decisive role in their growth. So promoting  their attitude toward the benefits of breastfeeding ensures guarantee child health in the future. This study aimed to assess maternal knowledge and attitude of Mashhad toward exclusive BMF in the first 6 months of infant life.
 
Materials and Methods:
This cross-sectional descriptive-analytic study was conducted on 126 mothers who referring to Mashhad health-care centers for monitoring their 6-24 month year old infants. They completed questionnaire. Participants were selected by cluster and simple random sampling. Data were analyzed by descriptive- analytic tests and using SPSS 11.5.
 
Results:
Mean score of maternal attitude toward exclusive BMF was 14.32±5.28 (out of 28) and maternal knowledge score toward advantages of breast milk was 19.59±4.80 (out of 28). The incidence of exclusive BMF in the first 6 months of life study was 73.8%. Child growth was as follows: excellent growth (5.6%) and good growth (42.1%). ANOVA showed a significant difference between parents' education and maternal attitude towards exclusive BMF; whatever higher education of parents, more positive maternal attitude towards exclusive BMF (P<0.05). There was a significant direct relationship between knowledge and attitude (Spearman test, P-value= 0.000& r= 0.4).
 
Conclusion:
Maternal attitude towards exclusive BMF was moderate. It is essential to plan for mothers by officials in order to promote breast-feeding in the first 6 months of baby's life to enhance positive maternal attitude in this regard.
 
Keywords:Attitude, Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding, Infant, Mashhad.
 

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