Practice of Breastfeeding and its Barriers among Women Working in Tertiary Level Hospitals
Introduction: Breastfeeding provides ideal food for newborns and prevents recurrent infection and malnutrition in infants. In Nepal, breastfeeding is a universal practice but exclusive breastfeeding is low. As there is increased involvement of women in workforce, practice of breastfeeding may have been compromised. The main objective of the study was to examine the practice and barriers of breastfeeding among women working in tertiary level hospitals of Nepal.
Methods: This was a hospital based descriptive cross-sectional study. Study participants were wom- en working in Dhulikhel Hospital and Kathmandu Medical College and Teaching Hospital and was conducted from December 2017 to June 2018. Ethical approval was taken from institutional review committee of both institutions. Total of 208 women were included in the study and face to face interview was conducted. Data entry and analysis was done using statistical package of social sciences (SPSS).
Results: Breastfeeding practice was universal and colostrum was fed by 195 (94%) women. Pre- lacteal feeding was given by 14 (7%) women and 119 (57%) initiated breastfeeding within one hour of birth. Total of 93 (45%) children were exclusively breastfed for any duration while 10 (11%) were exclusively breastfed for six months. The mean duration of breastfeeding was 14.57 months and 90 (43%) started complementary feeding before six months. Total of 97 (51%) women and 42 (47%) women stated work as barrier for not exclusively breastfeeding and early complementary feeding respectively.
Conclusions: Exclusive breastfeeding was very low and children were breastfed for less than two years. Complementary feeding was also started earlier and work was stated as the main barrier for poor breastfeeding practice.
Keywords: breastfeeding; complementary feeding; working women.
Copyright (c) 2019 Mukta Singh Bhandari, Pratibha Manandhar, Dipesh Tamrakar
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