Qualitative Study of Factors Affecting Non-Exclusive Breastfeeding in the First 6-Month Life of Infants and Discontinuation of Breastfeeding in Women Admitted to Iranshahr Health Centers 2018
Background and objective: Feeding the infant after birth and in the first years of his or her life is one of the most important factors involved in the growth and development of infant. It is recommend that exclusive breastfeeding to continue for 6 months and the breastfeeding to continue for 2 years after the birth due to benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and infants. Given the importance of the mothers in this regard, this research was conducted to evaluate the factors affecting exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6-month life of the infants and discontinuation of breastfeeding from the viewpoint of mothers.
Methodology: This qualitative study was conducted using phenomenological method. It was conducted on sample of 40 women, who had breastfeeding experience. Based on purposeful sampling, research sample was selected among the women, admitted to health centers of Iranshahr and data were collected by focus group discussion method until data saturation. Then, the obtained data were analyzed.
Results: Results showed that the participants in all groups considered the factors of mother's perception of inadequate or lack of breast milk, mother's perception of inappropriate weight gain of infant, and impairment in growth of infant, use of infant formula, maternal comfort, high education and employment of mother outside of home, specific disease of mother and the use of certain drugs such as psychiatric pills, re-pregnancy, loss of physical fitness, breast sagging as the important factors affecting the non-breastfeeding and discontinued breastfeeding. They also stated that Islam and religious teachings, husband's support, health centers staff support, and support of relatives and adults and mother's knowledge are the most important factors involved in promoting exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding.
Conclusion: Based on the statements of the groups, the use of supportive resources and enhancing the knowledge of mothers by holding educational classes in health centers before delivery and during breastfeeding, the presence of breast milk counselor in health centers and advertising through mass media on the complications of the artificial milk (infant formula) and benefits of breastfeeding can play key role in promoting exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding.