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Research Title: Factors Associated with Cessation of Exclusive Breastfeeding

Authors Aldalili AYA, El.Mahalli A

Received 15 September 2020

Accepted for publication 12 January 2021

Published 2 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 239—246


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Amira Yousef Ali Aldalili,1 Azza Ali El.Mahalli2

1Dental Department, Primary Health Care Center, National Guards Affairs, Alehsa, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Azza Ali El.Mahalli
Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, PO Box 1982, Dammam, 31441, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 54 262 2475

Purpose: The study aimed to determine the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), measure the association between EBF and sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics of lactating mothers, and determine challenges of EBF.
Methods: The study was cross-sectional and was conducted in four primary health care centres (PHCCs) at Alehsa region in Saudi Arabia (SA). Lactating mothers coming to vaccinate their babies (0– 6 months) were recruited. Sample size totalled 372, where 93 were randomly selected from each centre. Sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics of participants, breastfeeding (BF) status, and challenges of EBF were collected. Basic univariate descriptive statistics were conducted to explore the sociodemographic and obstetric characteristics, BF status and challenges of BF. Bivariate analyses were done to explore the association between the dependent and independent variables. Binary logistic regression models were then executed. A 2-tailed p-value < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: EBF rate was nearly 60%. Cessation of EBF was associated with younger age, inconvenience/fatigue due to BF, sore breasts or nipples/too painful, perceived low milk quantity, BF skills were not effective, maternal choice, and baby-centred factors.
Conclusion and Recommendations: EBF was associated with problems/difficulties in BF technique. It is recommended that health care professionals like doctors, nurses, and midwives should train mothers during and after pregnancy regarding BF technique or pumping breast milk in case of BF difficulties, improve mothers’ confidence about the ability to breastfeed and enhance mothers’ knowledge on the normal process of lactation. Secondly, it is the role of policymakers to ensure implementation of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) guidelines in hospitals to meet the WHO’s global target of infants being exclusively breastfed until six months of age.

Keywords: exclusive breastfeeding; EBF, cross-sectional study, risk factors

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