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Practices, advice and support regarding prolonged breastfeeding : a descriptive study from Sri Lanka.

van den Berg, M. and Ball, H. L. (2008) 'Practices, advice and support regarding prolonged breastfeeding : a descriptive study from Sri Lanka.', Journal of reproductive and infant psychology., 26 (3). pp. 229-243.

Abstract

Practice and duration of breastfeeding were examined in relation to traditional practices and modern recommendations on infant care in Sri Lanka. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among 60 Sri Lankan mothers whose youngest child was 0.5-4 years. The results show that all mothers had breastfed their infants. Most respondents introduced additional foods at 4 months, as recommended by local public health services. The median age at cessation of breastfeeding was 2.9 years, in line with public health advice. Doctors were reported to oppose breastfeeding during a subsequent pregnancy. Eighty-two percent of mothers practised habitual bed-sharing with their children. Nighttime breastfeeding frequency was 4.8 times per night for infants aged 0.5-1 year and declined gradually over the next 3 years. Maternal working status did not influence the overall duration of breastfeeding. Sri Lankan mothers and infants were confronted with several factors opposing their breastfeeding relationship, notably near full-time work and the early introduction of additional foods. Even though exclusive breastfeeding was ended prematurely, the majority of mothers and infants managed to sustain a prolonged breastfeeding relationship. Mother-child bed-sharing and associated nighttime breastfeeding is proposed as an important factor supporting continued breastfeeding.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Breastfeeding, Cross-cultural studies, Interviews, Social.
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (524Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02646830701691376
Publisher statement:This is an electronic version of an article published in van den Berg, M. and Ball, H. L. (2008) 'Practices, advice and support regarding prolonged breastfeeding : a descriptive study from Sri Lanka.', Journal of reproductive and infant psychology., 26 (3). pp. 229-243. Journal of reproductive and infant psychology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/02646830701691376
Record Created:23 Sep 2008
Last Modified:15 Sep 2011 16:15

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