Evaluation of the Breast Feeding Promotion Program at Ard El Insan Association: Effect on Mothers' Knowledge,Attitudes and Practices

Khader Mohamed Abu Hasan
خضر محمد عبد الله ابو حسن
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Al-Quds University
Nutrition health promotion programs comprise an important component of Primary Health Care and the breastfeeding promotion and support program is an essential component of these programs. This study aimed at evaluating the impact of Ard El Insan Association (AEI) Breastfeeding Promotion and support Program on mothers' knowledge, attitudes and practices. A pretest post-test quasi experimental study was conducted. A total of 132 Breastfeeding Promotion Program new attendants were recruited to participate of them 112 remained and participated in the post-test (20 subjects withdrawn). Data were collected over a five months time period. Baseline readings were obtained on admission and post intervention readings were obtained on discharge or when a mother made at least 4 visits to the program. AEI breast feeding program include health education, training of mothers and growth monitoring. Enacted activities of AEI Breastfeeding Promotion Program contributed significantly (P<0.001) to the improvement the participants' knowledge about breastfeeding. Post intervention; 61.12% of the participants compared to 25.04% at the baseline were able to recall benefits of breastfeeding. Knowledge gained has positively affected participants' attitudes towards breastfeeding. Attitudes towards exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months of age have been positively affected also (91.9% posttest compared to 76.9% pretest). Exclusive breastfeeding found to be statistically significantly associated with the increased level of mothers' knowledge (p < 0.001). There found to be no statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) between the method of health promotion used to promote and support breastfeeding and its effect on mothers' exclusive breastfeeding in the last 24 hours. Thus, no approach can be spoken to be the best or the most influential one over the other. Therefore, utilizing a diverse multi-method approach is most likely to provide the intended outcomes. No statistically significant relationship were found between the number of visits a mother conducts to the program and its interval, and whether it was enough to help her exclusively breastfeed her baby. AEI has achieved a 32.8 % increase in exclusivity rate amongst its Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Program attendants, which is more than the universal goal set by WHO. Almost all participants expressed their atisfaction with the methodologies used to support them exclusively breastfeed. AEI breast feeding program is effective in meeting its targets and its approach can be generalized to other areas in Palestine and analogous cultures.