Background: Weaning methods play an important role in children’s future feeding status. Poor maternal practices, such as early or late weaning and applying unsafe methods, can be influenced by prevailing cultural beliefs in a society. Recognition of mothers’ cultural beliefs about weaning by health care providers can be helpful in providing culture-based education and consultations. The aim of the present study was to determine Iranian mothers’ cultural beliefs about weaning.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with 310 mothers recruited from health centers in ...in cities of west Mazandaran province (Ramsar, Tonekabon, Chalus, Noshahr), Iran. Data were gathered with questionnaires assessing ‘demographic characteristics ‘and ‘mothers’ cultural beliefs about weaning’. SPSS software were applied for data analysis.
Results: The mean age of mothers was 31.6±5.2. The last child average age was 3.0±46.85. Most mothers had High school education (51.6%), were housewife (59.7%) and had city living (89%). Current duration of breastfeeding was 19-24 months in the majority (38.8%). Scores vary from 19 to 245. The mean score of weaning beliefs was 147.14±3.47; while the highest mean component score (59.74±2.71) was related to ‘‘contexts’’. There were also statistically significant relationships among the variables of age (p = 0.01), number of children (p = 0.001), breastfeeding duration (p = 0.001), living location (p = 0.001), and children’s gender (p = 0.03) with cultural beliefs about weaning.
Conclusion: The results of this study have shown the obvious role of negative beliefs about weaning. Therefore, healthcare providers can increase mothers’ awareness regarding appropriate weaning times and methods during pregnancy and post-childbirth care programs by holding both educational and consulting sessions for mothers.