Exclusive Breast Feeding Incidence in the First Six Months of Life and Its Associated Factors
Background: Healthy nutrition is especially important during the first 6 months of life being the period of exceptionally accelerated growth and high nutrient requirements. The global nutrition target number 5 for 2025 by World Health Organization is to elevate the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the 1st six months up to 50 percent. Aim of study: to determine the exclusive breastfeeding rate and associated risk factors for the first six months of life in Misan, South East of Iraq. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study with analytical elements. It was conducted in Al-Sader Teaching Hospital during the period from 1st of September 2016 to 1st of March 2017 among randomly selected 500 mothers having infants aged between 7-12months. Results: Exclusive breastfeeding rate was 45.6% and there was a significant association with some factors like residence, previous breastfeeding, maternal health status, education level, employment, the number of babies at delivery and birth order in which the P values were 0.009, 0.0008, 0.0005, 0.033, 0.038, 0.05 and 0.03 respectively. Conclusions: Exclusive breastfeeding rate in Misan was low and it was less than the target of World Health Organization.