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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

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DAMIAO, Jorginete de Jesus. Influence of mothers' schooling and work on the practice of exclusive breastfeeding. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2008, vol.11, n.3, pp.442-452. ISSN 1415-790X.

This article aims at examining the association between the practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) and characteristics of mothers (age, schooling, parity, and work), birth weight, and infant feeding practices on the first day after discharge from the maternity ward in children under four months of age. Data used to this end were collected from two surveys done in the city of Rio de Janeiro in 1998 and 2000. These two surveys involved interviewing mothers with children under one year of age, sampled statistically based on the population of children in that age group vaccinated on national vaccination days (which have universal coverage in this age group in that municipality)(n = 2,459). The practice of EBF was described as a function of each of the aforementioned variables, and then multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied. The prevalence of EBF was 22.7% among children under four months, ranging from 39.6% on the first day to 12.4% at 120 days of age. Higher proportions of EBF were found among children whose mothers had a higher level of schooling or who did not work, and children who were exclusively breastfed on the first day at home after discharge from the maternity ward. The results of the multivariate analysis indicate a positive association of EBF with mother's schooling (OR 1.93 for university graduates), and negative with mother's employment (OR 0.59). The results show that this type of monitoring is useful for evaluating and planning actions for the promotion of breastfeeding in the city. Mother's schooling and work, as well as infant feeding practices on the first day after discharge from the maternity ward were shown to be associated with exclusive breastfeeding rates in the first four months of life.

Keywords : Breast-feeding; Cross-sectional studies; Child Health [Public Health].

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