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Roudbari M, Roudbari S, Fazaeli A
Correspondence: Dr Masoud Roudbari, email@example.com
Introduction The practice of breastfeeding, an important need for infants, can be affected by several factors that need to be investigated. This study was designed to survey the patterns and period of breastfeeding and its associated factors in women.
Methods The study was performed in Zahedan, southeast Iran, in 2004–2005, with a sample of 450 mothers via a questionnaire to collect information about the period of breastfeeding and some important factors concerning both mothers and children.
Results The exclusive breastfeeding ratio obtained from this study was 98 percent. The proportion of breastfeeding in months 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 after birth were 92 percent, 85 percent, 69 percent, 56 percent and 8 percent, respectively. The median breastfeeding period was 15 months, with a standard error of 1.17. The period of breastfeeding showed a significant relationship with the age of the children and mothers, the mothers’ education level, night breastfeeding, breastfeeding to an ill child, breastfeeding during a mother’s illness and the frequency of breastfeeding per 24 hours. The Cox regression also confirmed a significant relationship between the period of breastfeeding and the above-mentioned variables, except for mother’s education level and breastfeeding to an ill child.
Conclusion Young pregnant women need to be aware of the importance of breastfeeding and of avoiding the reduction or interruption of the breastfeeding period. It is recommended that the health authorities incorporate training and education programmes as well as healthcare measures to their family health programmes in order to overcome the problems of insufficient breastfeeding.
Keywords: breastfeeding patterns, breastfeeding period, health programme, pregnancy
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(2): 181-184