Ever and Exclusive Breastfeeding Practice During the First Six Months of Infants' Life in Bahrain: A Cross-Sectional Study.

  Vol. 44 (7) 2023 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2023; 44(7): 465-474 PubMed PMID:  37874558    Citation

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of mothers practicing ever and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life in Bahrain, a high-income country, and determine the variables associated with ever and exclusive breastfeeding. METHODS: This cross-sectional interview study on breastfeeding patterns was conducted on 345 women attending the Well Baby Clinic during their regular childcare visits at the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital from January 2019 to June 2019. Eligible women had at least one newborn aged six months to two years. The prevalence of ever and exclusive breastfeeding and its associated variables were analyzed using Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression and addressed by the odds ratio (OR) and respective 95% confidence interval (95% CI). RESULTS: During the first six months of the infant's life, 56% (95% CI: 50.8%-61.5%) of mothers breastfed their infants, but only 5.5% (95% CI: 3.3%-8.5%) practiced exclusive breastfeeding. The multivariate logistic regression results showed that women were less likely to practice ever breastfeeding in the age group of 20-24 years (OR = 0.399, 95% CI: 0.167-0.953, p < 0.05) and had low education levels (OR = 0.388, 95% CI: 0.184-0.881, p < 0.05). Besides, mothers on contraceptives were not associated with ever breastfeeding (OR=1.926, 95% CI: 1.100-3.373, p < 0.05). Furthermore, the multivariate analysis revealed that mothers who had infants born with chronic disease were more likely to exclusively breastfed them (OR = 4.183, 95% CI: 1.138-15.378, p < 0.05). On the other hand, a significant association existed between women who did not have antennal care and exclusively breastfeeding (OR = 3.951, 95% CI: 1.460-10.692, p < 0.01). Furthermore, the main reason reported by mothers for not ever or exclusively breastfeeding was insufficient breast milk. Besides, difficulty during breastfeeding was another primary reason for not ever breastfeeding. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding is very low in Bahrain. To increase the exclusive breastfeeding prevalence rate, education programs and intervention studies, protocols, and training on overcoming mothers' challenges during breastfeeding must be implemented to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates.

 Full text PDF