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Breast-feeding in the modern health sector in Indonesia: The mother's perspective

By Valerie Hull, Shyam Thapa and Hadi Pratomo


This paper presents findings of a study of postpartum women in major hospitals throughout Indonesia. The objective was to assess the mothers' practices and attitudes regarding several key aspects of breast-feeding and 'rooming-in'. The study found that most of the women breast-fed their babies, with many believing infants should be breast-fed for 18 months or longer. However, many mothers lacked information about ideal infant feeding patterns and were unaware of how to solve problems that may arise. Only 38% recognized the value of feeding colostrum, and many feared the effect of breast-feeding on breast shape. They often gave supplementary formula. Almost none understood the importance of frequent suckling in promoting milk production. Only 50% of infants were kept in the same hospital room with their mothers for 24 hr a day, or full rooming-in. Women who kept their infants in the nursery (39%) were generally younger, better educated, primiparous, or had non-normal deliveries. They knew little about rooming-in, and if given more information to allay their doubts, they might consider rooming-in as a viable and safe arrangement. The results of this study reinforce the importance of identifying the perceptions and the knowledge of women concerning breast-feeding and rooming-in, so that hospital administrator, and health professionals can design programs and provide environments that encourage women to breast-feed their infants in optimal ways.Postpartum mothers hospitals infant feeding Indonesia

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