Mothers’ Employment and Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices: A Brief Report from Jerusalem Governorate

Saif Amer
Elham Kateeb
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The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that women exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and continue breastfeeding until two years of age. However, breastfeeding is declining, especially in developing countries. This study aims to describe breastfeeding habits and demographic factors influencing these practices in Jerusalem Governorate. Self-reporting ques-tionnaires were sent to 481 mothers of preschoolers asking about the type of feeding used with their children, breastfeeding exclusively, bottle feeding, and a combination of both. Data were also col-lected about the duration of breastfeeding to classify women into those who adhered to the World Health Organization (WHO) ecommendations and those who did not. We received 471 complete questionnaires. Two hundred and five mothers exclusively breastfed their children for 6 months or more (44.1%). Almost 11% (n = 52) used bottle feeding exclusively, and 44.2% (n = 208) combined both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Having a full-time job increased the chance of not breastfeed-ing children (π2 = 9.2, p = 0.002), and being a stay-at-mother increased the chance of exclusive breast-feeding (π2 = 4.4, p = 0.044). In the final model, having a preterm baby and being a stay-at-home mother increased the odds of exclusively breastfeeding by 3.6 and 2.3, respectively. On the other hand, having a full-time job decreased the odds by 0.3. A mother’s full-time employment was a determinant factor in abandoning exclusive breastfeeding before 6 months. Policies, regulations, and laws supporting the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding practices until 6 months in mothers as recommended by the WHO should be reinforced.
Amer, S.; Kateeb, E. Mothers’ Employment and Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices: A Brief Report from Jerusalem Governorate. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20, 2066. ijerph20032066