A national survey on the pattern of breastfeeding in Iranian infants: The IrMIDHS study

Type Journal Article - Medical Journal of The Islamic Republic of Iran (MJIRI)
Title A national survey on the pattern of breastfeeding in Iranian infants: The IrMIDHS study
Volume 30
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 908-914
URL http://mjiri.iums.ac.ir/article-1-4003-en.pdf
Background: Breastfeeding has been recognized to have a great deal of benefits for both the mothers and infants.
Moreover, the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life has been greatly
acknowledged. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the prevalence of starting breastfeeding in the first hour
after delivery and the exclusive breast milk feeding as well as the age at which complimentary foods are provided
to the child and duration of breastfeeding in Iran.
Methods: This nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted in the frame of a national survey, Iran Multiple
Indicator Demographic and Health Survey (IrMIDHS), in 31 provinces of Iran. Participants were selected by
multistage cluster sampling. The target sample was 3,096 clusters consisting of 2,187 urban and 909 rural families.
Data were collected using a questionnaire through face-to-face interviews.
Results: The rate of exclusive breastfeeding was 53.13% with higher prevalence in rural (67.76%) than in urban
areas (47.79%) (P = 0.04), and among girls (56.35%) compared to boys (50.60%). The prevalence of breastfeeding
as the main diet of Iranian infants under six months old was 70.72% and the prevalence of initiation of
breastfeeding (up to the first hour after delivery) was 68.70%. The probability of breastfeeding continuance
among twelve to fifteen months children was 84.22%; the corresponding figure was 51% among twenty to twenty
three months old babies (p=0.03).
Conclusion: Exclusive breastfeeding should be encouraged; and strategies that are more effective should be
designed to protect, train and support young mothers to breastfeed their infants. The importance of early beginning
of breastfeeding and its continuation should be underscored.

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