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Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume 2013, Article ID 243852, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/243852
Research Article

An Assessment of the Breastfeeding Practices and Infant Feeding Pattern among Mothers in Mauritius

1Department of Health Science, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius
2Faculty of Law and Management, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius
3Department of Bioscience, Faculty of Science, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius

Received 30 March 2013; Revised 8 June 2013; Accepted 9 June 2013

Academic Editor: Johannes B. van Goudoever

Copyright © 2013 Ashmika Motee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Proper breastfeeding practices are effective ways for reducing childhood morbidity and mortality. While many mothers understand the importance of breastfeeding, others are less knowledgeable on the benefits of breastfeeding and weaning. The aim in here is to assess breastfeeding pattern, infant formula feeding pattern, and weaning introduction in Mauritius and to investigate the factors that influence infant nutrition. 500 mothers were interviewed using a questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on infant feeding practices. Statistical analyses were done using SPSS (version 13.0), whereby chi-square tests were used to evaluate relationships between different selected variables. The prevalence of breastfeeding practice in Mauritius has risen from 72% in 1991 to 93.4% as found in this study, while only 17.9% breastfed their children exclusively for the first 6 months, and the mean duration of EBF (exclusive breastfeeding) is 2.10 months. Complementary feeding was more commonly initiated around 4–6 months (75.2%). Despite the fact that 60.6% of mothers initiate breastfeeding and 26.1% of mothers are found to breastfeed up to 2 years, the practice of EBF for the first 6 months is low (17.9%). Factors found to influence infant feeding practices are type of delivery, parity, alcohol consumption, occupation, education, and breast problems.