Breastfeeding practices in a hospital-based study of Vietnamese women.
Ramoo S., Trinh TA., Hirst JE., Jeffery HE.
BACKGROUND: The benefits of breastfeeding to both maternal and infant health are vast and widely known. The aim of this study was to elicit the rates of exclusive breastfeeding, early initiation of breastfeeding, and colostrum feeding and to determine the attitudes, knowledge, and influences around breastfeeding in postpartum Vietnamese women. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Hung Vuong Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, between December 2010 and January 2011. Postpartum women were randomly selected and interviewed within 48 hours of delivery. RESULTS: Of the 223 women interviewed, 86% had initiated breastfeeding at the time of the interview. Modes of feeding included exclusive breastfeeding (7%), mixed feeding (79%), which included breastmilk and formula or water, and exclusive formula feeding (14%). Of the breastfeeding women, 14% had initiated breastfeeding within 60 minutes of delivery, 92% had initiated within 24 hours, and 8% had initiated after 24 hours of delivery. Of women who had initiated breastfeeding, 37% had discarded their colostrum. Factors that positively influenced breastfeeding were knowledge that breastfeeding is good for the infant, advice obtained from "public information," and the influence of health professionals and family on the decision to breastfeed. Factors that influenced the decision not to initiate breastfeeding included pain or fever after cesarean section and perceived lack of breastmilk after delivery. CONCLUSIONS: The rate of exclusive breastfeeding at Hung Vuong Hospital in this study was lower than the national average of 17%. Specific interventions targeting this must be formulated to increase these rates.