Determinants of Exclusive Breastfeeding in a Sample of Egyptian Infants


  • Wafaa A. Kandeel Biological Anthropology Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Thanaa M. Rabah Department of Community Medicine Research, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Dina Abu Zeid Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Ebtissam M. Salah El Din Child Health Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Ammal M. Metwally Department of Community Medicine Research, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Ashraf Shaalan Biological Anthropology Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Lobna A. El Etreby Biological Anthropology Department, Medical Research Division, National Research Centre, Giza
  • Sanaa Y. Shaaban Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo



Infant feeding, Exclusive breastfeeding, Mixed Feeding, Egyptian infants, Social factors


BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding is an optimum, healthy, and economical mode of feeding an infant. However, many preventable obstacles hinder exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life.

AIM: We aimed to assess the social-, maternal- and infant-related factors disturbing exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life.

METHODS: It is a retrospective study included 827 dyads of mothers and infants older than 6 months (411 exclusively breastfed, 311 artificially-fed and 105 mixed feds). Mothers were interviewed to obtain sociodemographic information, maternal medical history and perinatal history and a detailed history of infant feeding.

RSULTS: Many factors were found to support the decision for artificial feeding rather than exclusive breastfeeding, including maternal age < 25 years (OR = 2.252), child birth order > 3rd (OR = 2.436), being a primi-para (OR = 1.878), single marital status (OR = 2.762), preterm infant (OR = 3.287) and complicated labor (OR = 1.841). Factors in favor of mixed feeding included cesarean section (OR = 2.004) and admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (OR = 1.925).

CONCLUSIONS: Although it isn’t a community-based study and its results can’t be generalised, plans to improve health and development of children are preferable to include the following: health education and awareness programs about the importance of exclusive breastfeeding should be directed for young and first-time mothers. Improved antenatal care to reduce perinatal and neonatal problems; and training, monitoring, and supervising community health care workers to recognise labour complications and provide support and knowledge to lactating mothers.


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How to Cite

Kandeel WA, Rabah TM, Abu Zeid D, Salah El Din EM, Metwally AM, Shaalan A, El Etreby LA, Shaaban SY. Determinants of Exclusive Breastfeeding in a Sample of Egyptian Infants. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2018 Oct. 2 [cited 2021 Apr. 12];6(10):1818-23. Available from:



B - Clinical Sciences

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