Breastfeeding practices in nursing mothers during COVID-19 pandemic: Dual center study in Karachi, Pakistan
Objective: To identify the breastfeeding practices in nursing mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in the Pediatrics and Gynecology & Obstetrics departments at two of the tertiary care hospitals in Pakistan from September 2020 to February 2021. Recently delivered mothers and mothers of children till two years of age on breastfeeding/formula feed were consecutively enrolled.
Results: Of 484 participants, breastfeeding was practiced by 180 (37.2%) participants, formula-fed by 85 (17.6%), and mix feed by 219 (45.2%) participants. Out of 185 mothers who had to breastfeed previous babies, 80.2% of mothers still opted to breastfeed their newborns despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Breastfeeding practices exhibited higher incidence in illiterate mothers (aOR 0.229 95% CI 0.05-0.95, p- 0.042), housewives (aOR 0.35 95% CI 0.13-0.95 p-0.040) and shorter length of stay (aOR 0.290 95% CI 0.15-0.57, p- 0.001) while formula /mixed feeding was found higher in mothers with exposure to formula feeding in previous babies (aOR 17.842, 95% CI 8.33-38.19, p- 0.001) and mothers with pain after delivery (aOR 4.526, 95% CI 2.11-9.71, p-<0.001).
Conclusion: Mothers who had to breastfeed their babies in a previous pregnancy, who were less educated, and housewives with a shorter stay in hospital have shown a stronger association with breastfeeding whereas mothers who had previous exposure to formula milk and pain after delivery have shown association to formula feed or mixed feed.
How to cite this: Bham SQ, Khan KMA, Munaver SA, Sharif UHA. Breastfeeding practices in nursing mothers during COVID-19 pandemic: Dual center study in Karachi, Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. 2023;39(2):467-473. doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.39.2.6707
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