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Pediatr Int. 1999 Dec;41(6):648-54.

Breast-feeding in Bangkok, Thailand: current status, maternal knowledge, attitude and social support.

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Department of Developmental Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.



The promotion of breast-feeding is one of the essential interventions for reduction of infant mortality and improving infant development worldwide. The aim of the present study was to examine the current status of infant feeding and the influences of suspected family sociodemographic characteristics and social support as well as maternal knowledge, attitudes and behaviours in infant feeding since the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched in Thailand.


A total of 221 mother-infant pairs were randomly drawn from six health care centers in Bangkok from 20 April to 1 May 1998. Health care staff, using a structured questionnaire, interviewed the mothers in the health care centers.


Most sampled mothers believed that breast milk was the best food for their infants and knew that breast milk had many advantages for infants, mothers and families. Ninety-five percent of mothers breast-fed their infants up to 3 months postpartum, but the prevalence of exclusive breast-feeding was relatively low (62.4%). Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that the following factors independently increased the risk of mixed or formula feeding during the first 3 months of life: (i) mothers with a full-time job; (ii) grandmothers and other people as the main child caretakers; (iii) mothers who did not have an antenatal plan of exclusive breast-feeding; and (iv) newborns' non-exclusive breast-feeding in hospitals after birth. However, the mother being a housewife, mother as the main child caretaker, an antenatal plan of exclusive breast-feeding and exclusive breast-feeding in hospital were more likely to improve exclusive breast-feeding.


The prevalence of exclusive breast-feeding was relatively low. Antenatal plans for exclusive breast-feeding and newborn feeding type in hospital after birth may play key roles in the duration of exclusive breast-feeding. These findings suggest the importance of strengthening implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital policy and prenatal health education regarding breast-feeding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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