Predictors of breast-feeding in a developing country: results of a prospective cohort study

  • Al-Sahab B
  • Tamim H
  • Mumtaz G
 et al. 
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OBJECTIVE: Data on the prevalence and predictors of breast-feeding remain scarce in Lebanon. Moreover, no study has previously addressed the effect of the paediatrician's sex on breast-feeding. The present study aimed to assess the prevalence and predictors of breast-feeding at 1 and 4 months of infant age while exploring the potential role of the sex of the paediatrician. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. Predictors of breast-feeding significant at the bivariate level were tested at 1 and 4 months through two stepwise regression models. SETTING: Infants were enrolled through the clinics and dispensaries of 117 paediatricians located in Beirut, Lebanon, and its suburbs. SUBJECTS: A total of 1,320 healthy newborn infants born between August 2001 and February 2002 were prospectively followed during the first year. FINDINGS: Breast-feeding rates at 1 and 4 months were 56.3 % and 24.7 %, respectively. Early discharge, high parity and religion were significantly associated with higher breast-feeding rates at 1 and 4 months of age. Maternal age proved significant only at 1 month, while maternal working status and sex of the paediatrician were significant at 4 months. A novel finding of our study was the positive effect of female paediatricians on breast-feeding continuation until 4 months of age (OR = 1.49; 95 % CI 1.03, 2.15). CONCLUSIONS: Breast-feeding rates are low at 1 and 4 months of infant age in Beirut. Further research to investigate the interactions between female physicians and lactating mothers in maintaining breast-feeding in other populations is warranted. The results constitute the basis for designing interventions targeting policy makers, health professionals and mothers.

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Physician's Role
  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding/*epidemiology/*psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care/methods
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena/*physio
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lebanon/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mothers/psychology
  • Pediatrics/standards
  • Physicians/*psychology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Weaning

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  • B Al-Sahab

  • H Tamim

  • G Mumtaz

  • M Khawaja

  • M Khogali

  • R Afifi

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