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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


OSIS, Maria José Duarte et al. Exclusive breastfeeding among working women with free daycare available at workplace. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.2, pp.172-179. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate factors related to the decision of exclusive breastfeeding, and the planned and the actual duration among working women with free daycare available at workplace. METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted comparing a group of 15 women exclusively breastfeeding their babies with a similar group of women whose babies were already being fed with other food besides maternal milk at the time they started attending a daycare center. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were carried out for data collection. RESULTS: The factors related to the decision of breastfeeding and maintaining it when women went back to work were: the desire to breastfeed based on the importance women of both groups as well as their husbands and significant others attributed to it. The duration of exclusive breastfeeding was mainly associated to the baby's pediatrician counseling, which differed in each group. CONCLUSIONS: The availability of free daycare center at the work place seems an important aspect to breastfeeding maintenance after women go back to work, especially regarding exclusive breastfeeding. The duration of exclusive breastfeeding was related to the information received before and during pregnancy, and also in the postpartum. Women who have exclusively breastfed for almost six months believed the longer they breastfeed the better to their babies' health, while other women believed that three months of exclusive breastfeeding would be enough.

Keywords : Breastfeeding; Exclussive breastfeeding; Women; Workers; Child daycare centers; Interviews; Focus groups.

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