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Published in: Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -) 4/2022

Open Access 18-09-2021 | Original Article

Factors affecting the mother’s choice of infant feeding method in Poland: a cross-sectional preliminary study in Poland

Authors: Anna Rozensztrauch, Magdalena Klaniewska, Marta Berghausen-Mazur

Published in: Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -) | Issue 4/2022

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Abstract

Background

The World Health Organization identifies exclusive breastfeeding as the gold standard for child nutrition. Breastfeeding provides many benefits to both the baby and the mother. First days after birth are crucial for breastfeeding and determining its further path. Unfortunately, very often it is also the time of facing the first breastfeeding problems. The aim of this study was to analyse selected factors influencing a mother’s decision to breastfeed.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study conducted between March 2019 and November 2019 in selected Polish maternity wards. Data were collected through completion of author’s questionnaire and a standardised questionnaire and the Multidimensional Perceived Social Support Scale and also through informal interviews with mothers. During statistical analysis, the chi-square test of independence and the Kolmogorov–Smirnov test as well as the non-parametric Mann–Whitney U test in addition to Fisher’s exact test were performed.

Results

The results showed that there is no correlation between the mode of delivery and the mother’s choice of infant feeding method. Knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding and received support affects the mother’s decision on infant feeding method. The study also showed that the 83% of newborns were put to the breast within the first 2 h after birth. However, only 58% continued to be breastfed in the subsequent days. As many as 42% of the newborns were supplemented with formula despite early initiation of breastfeeding. Analyses showed that exclusive breastfeeding was more often chosen by mothers with higher education. And the most common breastfeeding problem reported by 62% of the respondents was perceived insufficient milk supply and also breastfeeding pain, reported in 48.5% mothers.

Conclusions

It is extremely important to continually promote breastfeeding among women. The role of midwives is crucial in this regard, as they should encourage the initiation of breastfeeding, support mothers during the perinatal and postnatal periods, and increase their sense of competence and confidence in their ability to breastfeed. Accessible, professional, and empathetic support can help reduce the number of women supplementing with modified milk. Undoubtedly, the postpartum period is important for breastfeeding outcomes, but it is significant that breastfeeding education and promotion begin during pregnancy.
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Metadata
Title
Factors affecting the mother’s choice of infant feeding method in Poland: a cross-sectional preliminary study in Poland
Authors
Anna Rozensztrauch
Magdalena Klaniewska
Marta Berghausen-Mazur
Publication date
18-09-2021
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Published in
Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -) / Issue 4/2022
Print ISSN: 0021-1265
Electronic ISSN: 1863-4362
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-021-02751-8

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