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Maternal prenatal attitudes and postnatal breast-feeding behaviours in rural Bangladesh

  • Elaine A Yu (a1), Joan S Thomas (a1) (a2), Aatekah Owais (a1), Noor Tirmizi (a2), ASG Faruque (a3), Sumon K Das (a3), Shahed Rahman (a4), Benjamin Schwartz (a2) and Aryeh D Stein (a1)...
Abstract
Objective

To assess the relationships between maternal breast-feeding intention, attitudes, self-efficacy and knowledge at 7 months’ gestation with exclusive or full breast-feeding at 3months postpartum.

Design

Prospective cohort study with structured home interviews during pregnancy and 3 months after delivery.

Setting

Two rural sub-districts of Kishoreganj district, Bangladesh.

Subjects

Mother–infant dyads.

Results

Over 80 % of 2178 pregnant women intended to exclusively breast-feed (EBF). Maternal positive attitudes, self-efficacy and knowledge about breast-feeding were positively associated with EBF intention (all P<0·05). All mothers except one reported initiating breast-feeding and 99·6 % of children were still breast-fed at 3 months. According to 24 h dietary recalls, we categorized 985 (45·2 %) infants as EBF at 3 months (47·8 % among mothers with EBF intention; 31·7 % among mothers with no EBF intention; P<0·05) and 551 (25·3 %) infants as predominantly breast-fed at 3 months (24·2 % among mothers with EBF intention; 30·8 % among mothers with no EBF intention; P<0·05). Prenatal EBF intention was associated with EBF (OR=1·48, 95 % CI 1·14, 1·91) and with full breast-feeding (OR=1·34, 95 % CI 1·04, 1·72) at age 3 months. EBF at age 3months was not associated with maternal breast-feeding knowledge, attitudes or self-efficacy.

Conclusions

Despite widespread expressed maternal EBF intention and universal breast-feeding initiation, prevalence of both exclusive and full breast-feeding at 3months remains lower than WHO recommendations. EBF intention predicts breast-feeding behaviours, suggesting the importance of prenatal counselling to improve infant feeding behaviours.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email aryeh.stein@emory.edu
References
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Public Health Nutrition
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