Document Type: Original Article
Jam Health Center, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran
Background: The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was launched in 1989 by World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund for the promotion of breastfeeding. This program was implemented in many departments of gynecology and obstetrics and resulted in reduced malnutrition, infection, morbidity and mortality in children. This program has introduced 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding. For instance, in the fourth step, skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are promoted since the time of birth, and in the fifth step, mothers are instructed on how to breastfeed or persist in breastfeeding. In these ten steps, mothers are trained in various fields.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a standardized questionnaire was used to collect data at baby-friendly hospitals. To assess the difference between multiple nominal variables, variance analysis was performed, using SPSS version 17.
Results: Based on the analysis, mothers' awareness of the benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding was 83% in a baby-friendly hospital. Also, their awareness of proper breastfeeding was estimated at 78.5%. In addition, mothers' knowledge about the frequency of breastfeeding was 70%.
Conclusion: Given the role of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in training mothers on the importance of breastfeeding and its persistence in future, careful monitoring of these hospitals, breastfeeding support services and breastfeeding training by midwives at healthcare centers are of great importance.