Effect of breastfeeding education on the feeding pattern and health of infants in their first 4 months in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Volume 5 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

This quasi-experimental study was conducted in Shiraz, the Islamic Republic of Iran, on 120 pairs of mothers and infants in a maternity hospital that had a rooming-in programme. All 59 mothers in the study group received breastfeeding education, face-to-face, after delivery and during follow-up for 4 months in the mother and child health (MCH) centre or in their homes; the remaining 61 mothers comprised the control group. Exclusive breastfeeding rates were significantly higher in the study group (54%) than in the control group (6.5%), but 5% and 18% of infants, respectively, in the study and control groups had slopped breastfeeding by the age of 4 months. The mean number of days of diarrhoea experienced by infants in the study group were significantly lower (P less than or equal to 0.004) than in the control group. At the end of 4 months, the mean weight and length of the infants were significantly higher (both P<0.05) in the study group than in the control group. The findings indicate that rooming-in is very important for promoting exclusive breastfeeding and that there is a need for continuous breastfeeding education of mothers.