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Practices, advice and support regarding prolonged breastfeeding: a descriptive study from Sri Lanka

van den Berg, Martina; Ball, Helen L.

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Authors

Martina van den Berg



Abstract

Practice and duration of breastfeeding were examined in relation to traditional practices and modern recommendations on infant care in Sri Lanka. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among 60 Sri Lankan mothers whose youngest child was 0.5-4 years. The results show that all mothers had breastfed their infants. Most respondents introduced additional foods at 4 months, as recommended by local public health services. The median age at cessation of breastfeeding was 2.9 years, in line with public health advice. Doctors were reported to oppose breastfeeding during a subsequent pregnancy. Eighty-two percent of mothers practised habitual bed-sharing with their children. Nighttime breastfeeding frequency was 4.8 times per night for infants aged 0.5-1 year and declined gradually over the next 3 years. Maternal working status did not influence the overall duration of breastfeeding. Sri Lankan mothers and infants were confronted with several factors opposing their breastfeeding relationship, notably near full-time work and the early introduction of additional foods. Even though exclusive breastfeeding was ended prematurely, the majority of mothers and infants managed to sustain a prolonged breastfeeding relationship. Mother-child bed-sharing and associated nighttime breastfeeding is proposed as an important factor supporting continued breastfeeding.

Citation

van den Berg, M., & Ball, H. L. (2008). Practices, advice and support regarding prolonged breastfeeding: a descriptive study from Sri Lanka. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 26(3), 229-243. https://doi.org/10.1080/02646830701691376

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 1, 2008
Deposit Date Sep 23, 2008
Publicly Available Date Mar 8, 2010
Journal Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Print ISSN 0264-6838
Electronic ISSN 1469-672X
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 3
Pages 229-243
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/02646830701691376
Keywords Breastfeeding, Cross-cultural studies, Interviews, Social.
Publisher URL http://www.informaworld.com.ezphost.dur.ac.uk/smpp/content~content=a794823003~db=all~order=page

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