Harrison, Abigail N; Fletcher Groves, S; Gordon-Strachan, Georgina.M; Thame, Minerva M
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Factors Affecting the Choice and Desire to Exclusively Breastfeed in Jamaica: A Cross-Sectional Study at 6 Weeks Postpartum
Journal of Human Lactation
Date of Publication
BACKGROUND:Exclusive breastfeeding rates (EBRs) may be influenced by sociodemographic and sociocultural factors, including maternal age, socioeconomic status, education, and breastfeeding knowledge. The EBR in Jamaica has been low and declining, leaving a need for better determination of the specific local contributory factors.OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to better elucidate the factors that influence mothers exclusively breastfeeding, including antenatal intentions to breastfeed, mothers' knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, and mothers' infant feeding practices in general, inclusive of breastfeeding, formula feeding, and complementary feeding.METHODS:A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a 52-item interviewer-administered questionnaire with mothers attending their 6-week postnatal clinic visit. Sociodemographic data were collected on all participants as well as data regarding participants' breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes, and practices. Statistical analyses were done using ?(2) tests, t tests, and risk analyses.RESULTS:Two hundred participants were interviewed; the mean ± SD age of participants was 26.2 ± 6.46 years (range, 15-46 years). The EBR in this study sample was 32%. Sociodemographic factors, including maternal age and socioeconomic status, as well as antenatal and postnatal breastfeeding sessions, did not significantly affect the likelihood of exclusively breastfeeding at 6 weeks postpartum. The only factor significantly associated with the EBR was mothers' belief that exclusively breastfeeding was able to ensure infant satiety.CONCLUSION:Antenatal and postnatal breastfeeding sessions should place more emphasis on dispelling maternal myths and misperceptions regarding signs of satiety and hunger in infants and reinforcing the knowledge that breast milk alone is sufficient for the first 6 months of life.....