Determinants of breast-feeding within the first 6 months post-partum in rural Vietnam
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Objective: This study explored the determinants of breast-feeding practices within the first 6 months post-partum among women residing in rural Vietnam.Methods: The study was conducted in Quang Xuong district, in the Thanh Hoa Province of Vietnam. In the first phase, 463 women were prospectively studied at weeks 1, 16 and 24 post-partum. During the second phase, 16 focus group discussions were undertaken to obtain complementary information.Results: Exclusive breast-feeding dropped from 83.6% at week 1 to 43.6% at week 16 and by week 24, no infant was exclusively breast-fed. A logistic regression analysis found 'mother's education level', 'mother's decision-making on breast-feeding', 'mother's comfort to breast-feed in public places', 'father's occupation', 'feeding preference of father' and 'having sufficient food for the family' significantly influenced the exclusive breast-feeding practice. Qualitative data provided in-depth information on factors relating to mother, infant, close relatives and providers.Conclusion: Providing appropriate training and supportive supervision on breast-feeding counselling to health workers and supporting working mothers to exclusively breast-feed their infants through community mobilization were recommended to improve breast-feeding in rural Vietnam.
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