|Breastfeeding and Weaning: Awareness and Practices among Female Health Providers working in a Tertiary Care Hospital of Karachi-Pakistan|
|Saba Mehkari1, Nosheen Zehra2, Hafsa Yasin2, Azeem Rauf1, Huzaifa Ali Jaliwala1, Taskeen Zehra1, Mubashir Ehsan1, Huma Amin2|
|1Fourth year Student Ziauddin University, Karachi- Pakistan
2Department of Community Health Sciences, Ziauddin University, Karachi- Pakistan
IJWHR 2014; 2: 281–286
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Keywords : Breast Feeding, Weaning, Healthcare Providers, Workplace
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Objective: To assess the awareness and practices regarding breastfeeding and weaning among female health care providers working in tertiary care hospital of Karachi.
Material and Method: This descriptive cross sectional study was conducted among married female health care professionals who have at least one child under the age of five years. A sample of 94 study participants working in a private tertiary care hospital was selected through convenience sampling technique. Data collected using structured and self administered questionnaire. Data analysis was done by SPSS version 20 and Chi square was applied with p value <0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Of the 94 female healthcare providers questioned, 90 (95.7%) recognized breast feeding as the preferred mode of feeding however, only 74 (78.7%) practiced it while 28 (29.8%) did not. 15 (15.9%) of these cited workplace related issues as an important reason for hindrance. Although healthcare providers were aware of the hazards of bottle feeding yet majority i.e. 80 (85.1%) practiced it. The most appropriate age for weaning was considered to be six months by 73 (77.7%) of the participants, however, only 50 (53.2%) practiced it. Homemade meals were used by 80 (85.1%) of the participants for hygienic reasons.
Conclusion: Healthcare providers were found to have the right knowledge regarding the practices of breast feeding and weaning, however there was a significant gap between their knowledge and practice. Workplace related hindrances were found to be the main reason for this gap. So it is recommended to empower working mothers in order for them to be able to carry out the best feeding practices
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