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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 4, Issue.: 14 (11-20 May)


Factors Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices among Mothers in Syria: A Cross-sectional Study


Nemeh Ahmad Al-Akour1*, Abidhakeem Okour2 and Roba Tawfig Aldebes1

1Maternal and Child Health Department, Jordan University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box (3030) Irbid 22110, Jordan.
2Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.

Article Information


(1) Salomone Di Saverio, Emergency Surgery Unit, Department of General and Transplant Surgery, S. Orsola Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy.


(1) Chisela Kaliwile, Zambia.

(2) Anonymous.

(3) Ursula K. Kafulafula,  University of Malawi, Malawi.

Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/3822


Background: Exclusive breastfeeding is the situation where the infant has received only breast milk from his/her mother for the first 6 months after birth. Research had found that factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding practices in different countries are varied. Little is known about exclusive breastfeeding in Syria.
Objective: To identify factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding practices among mothers in Syria.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study on feeding practices during the first 6 months of infant’s life was conducted in Lattakia City, the northwest of Syria from July through October 2012. A total sample of 334 Syrian mothers of infants aged between 0 and 12 months were studied on socio-demographic variables, reproductive factors, sources of breastfeeding support, and exclusive breastfeeding practices.
Results: About 83.5% of mothers were breastfeeding at the time of the study. At 4 months, 68.6% (229) of mothers were still exclusively breastfeeding, and 18.6% (62) continued to do so at 5 months. By 6 months, the breastfeeding prevalence rate fell to 12.9% (43). Binary logistic analysis for mothers who exclusively breastfed at 6 months and more showed that mothers who received husbands’ (P=0.027) and relatives’ (P=0.007) advice not to add formula to breastfeeding were significantly associated with continuation of exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers of husbands with lower education (P=0.029) and mothers who did not smoke (P=0.002) were more likely to complete exclusive breastfeeding.
Conclusions: By 6 months of age, a large ratio of infants was not exclusively breastfed. Lower husband education, smoker mothers, husbands’ and relatives’ advice not to add formula to breastfeeding were identified as significant factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in the study area in Syria.

Keywords :

Breastfeeding; exclusive breastfeeding; predictors; prevalence; Syria.

Full Article - PDF    Page 2713-2724

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2014/8395

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