Exclusive breastfeeding practices in working women of Pakistan: A cross sectional study

Aroona Sabin, Farida Manzur, Saleem Adil


Objective: To determine the prevalence of exclusive breast feeding in working women and to identify the factors effecting exclusive breast feeding in working women.

Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted in Faisalabad city within a period of six months from June 2016 to December 2016. Working women of age 18 to 45 years, working as doctors, teachers, nurses and bankers in public (government) setup were included. The data was collected using interview method by pre-structured questionnaire. Multi-variable logistic regression model was developed considering EBF practice as dependent and the significant independent variables. Results were reported as Crude Odds Ratio (COR) or Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) with 95% Confidence Intervals (CIs).

Results: Prevalence of exclusive breast feeding (EBF) was 166 (41.5%). EFB practice was significantly less in doctors and bankers as compared to nurses and teachers (p-value <0.001). Women working as nurses and teachers, having one or two children and short working hours had higher prevalence of exclusive breast feeding. Women having prior knowledge about EBF, training of EBF and women who had previously heard about EBF had five time higher rate of breast feeding. Women having knowledge of colostrum had three times higher EBF practice [odds ratio: 3.02 (1.86-4.91)]. Women having knowledge about hazards of bottle feeding had 12.7 times higher prevalence of EBF [odds ratio: 12.72 (5.70-28.38)].Those who knew about expression of breast milk had three times higher prevalence of EBF [odds ratio: 3.0 (1.98-4.55)]. Mothers working in organizations that support EBF had 4.1 times higher prevalence of EBF [odds ratio: 4.1 (2.67-6.21)]. And proper training of mothers about correct expression technique of breast milk had 12 time [odds ratio: 12.06 (4.97-29.23)] higher prevalence of EBF.

Conclusion: Long working hours, banking profession, family income and lack of proper knowledge about exclusive breast feeding are responsible for non-EBF practice in working women. Proper Knowledge and awareness about exclusive breastfeeding and provision of facilities for exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) by the organizations can play a significant role in promoting it.

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.335.12827

How to cite this:Sabin A, Manzur F, Adil S. Exclusive breastfeeding practices in working women of Pakistan: A cross sectional study. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(5):1148-1155.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.335.12827

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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