Decision to breast-feed – important factors

The modernization of human society has many advantages and some disadvantages, especially the move away from nature and some natural processes, one of which is breast-feeding. This study analyses the influences of the mothers' education, employment, living conditions, marital status, place of residence, number of births, previous breast-feeding experiences, the husband's support, the child birth weight, Apgar score, the duration of pregnancy, participation in support groups, labour difficulties, as well as the influence of paediatricians, visiting nurses, general practitioner, popular magazines and family members on the duration of breast-feeding. The sample of respondents included 100 mothers who were monitored in the course of one year through regular telephone conversations. Statistically significant differences in breast-feeding duration were not observed between employed and unemployed mothers (p = 0.878), married and unmarried mothers, mothers who have and have not consulted their husbands about breast-feeding (p = 0.688), first time mothers and more than one time mothers (p = 0.235), average and well educated mothers; although less educated mothers breast-fed longer (p = 0.098), mothers living in built up or rural areas (p = 0.235). Significant differences in breast-feeding were obtained among mothers who were or were not breast-fed in their childhood (p = 0.031) and mothers that were owners or lived in rented accommodation (p = 0.042). The influence of birth weight, Caesarean section (p = 0.740), positive breast-feeding experiences with previous children (p = 0.249), the child's sex (p = 0.332) were also analysed. Different but not statistically significant in terms of breast-feeding duration were the influence of a general practitioner, paediatrician, district nurse, family, popular magazines and specialised literature (p = 0.953). A high percentage of women (95%) had made a decision to breast-feed before their admission to the delivery unit. In contrast to what was expected, mothers of babies with lower birth weight or lower Apgar score, stopped breast-feeding quite early. What concerns us is the large number of mothers who fed their babies with cow's milk. The reasons for the termination of breast-feeding were analysed according to the mothers' explanations.
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 46, No 3, july - september 2002
Authors: M. Čatipović, V. Čatipović, D. Novalić, S. Bogeljić, I. Fehir-Radanović
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