Context: Employment of the mother is considered to be one of the most important barriers to exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). Aim: To study the factors influencing EBF practices among working mothers in Udupi taluk. Methods and material: A community-based cross-’sectional study was conducted among breastfeeding mothers employed in any form of occupation having an infant less than six months old (n = 137). Interviewer administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Statistical analysis used: Chi-square test was performed to find the association between different variables and EBF. Results: The prevalence of EBF among working mothers was found to be 17.5% although 75% of them had adequate knowledge on EBF and its benefits. Around 52% of the mothers did not receive any maternity leave benefits. Only 11% of mothers were allowed breaks in between working hours but none of the mothers were provided with crèches at their workplace. The commonest reason to discontinue EBF was early resumption of work after childbirth. Factors such as educational status of working mother and her husband, occupation of husband, place of delivery, sex of the newborn, frequency of breastfeeding per day, practice of expressing and storing breastmilk before leaving for work and breaks during working hours were found to be statistically significant with EBF practice. Conclusions: These findings emphasize the need to guarantee the support to breastfeeding policies at workplace which in turn would motivate working mothers to continue EBF after resuming work.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases