A Study on Factors Affecting Infant Feeding Practices of Mothers in the Philippines

Topics: Breastfeeding, Breast milk, Infant Pages: 25 (6709 words) Published: November 25, 2012

Santos, Samuel Edelson Pingol, Aaron Paul Villanueva, Lovely Ann Bermas, Mhelrick Andrew Brecia, Froyland Miguel Faustino, Donald Bulacan State University


Every day, as many as 4,000 infants and young children die worldwide because they are not breastfed. According to UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), it is because their mothers are not empowered with adequate knowledge about breastfeeding and do not receive enough motivation and support. Babies, their mothers, their families, their community, their environment, even the economy of the country in which they live, all benefit from breastfeeding. This research is generally about breastfeeding: its benefits and significance to infant nutrition and factors that makes impact on breastfeeding; the practices in the Philippines that affect breastfeeding; and analyses by organizations concerned in breastfeeding. The given timeframe for the group research is the month of July and some weeks of August. The group decided to use a topic about health and wellness since nutrition is celebrated in that month. Another reason that encouraged pursuing the topic is that the world has celebrated its 20th Annual Breastfeeding Week last August 1-7, 2012 making the research timely.


The objective of conducting this study is to evaluate the breast feeding practices adopted by women in the Philippines, and to show factors affecting time of initiation of breast feeding, age of weaning, and food given to the baby other than breast milk. It aimed to describe the elements affecting breastfeeding and to find out the significant relationship between breastfeeding and health of the child.

The breast feeding practices adopted in terms of duration, frequency, exclusiveness of breast feeding and weaning have great impact on complete physical, mental and psycho-social development of the child. The superiority of breast milk compared to other types of milk for the nourishment of the human infant offering better health benefits. Early childhood is characterized by rapid growth, maturation of tissues and remodeling of organs. Breastfeeding is the optimal method for feeding infants. All the nutritional needs for most of these children are provided by breast milk in the right amounts and duration.

Exclusive breast feeding was practiced by 40% of the mothers for first six month of life. The data obtained were analyzed using percentiles. Although the findings indicated that 34% of the mothers practiced breastfeeding and 84% supplemented with complementary foods, only 40% practiced exclusive breastfeeding. This study emphasizes the need of breast feeding education program regarding the duration of exclusive breast feeding.

In comparison between rural and urban countries, studies have found out that mothers from rural areas have higher rates of breastfeeding than urban mothers. Another concept of the study is about the factors that affect breastfeeding patterns of mothers. These are demographic, socioeconomic and health service factors.

Apart from breastfeeding, the research prior discussed about the loads of benefits people can get from breastfeeding and breast milk. There are psychological, health and contraceptive benefits one could get through breastfeeding and breast milk. To all infants, specifically Filipino children, should have the best protective ways against infection and malnutrition through exclusive breastfeeding.

I.Breast milk: The most suitable food for human newborn

A. Benefits of Breastfeeding

1. Emotional Health

2. Protective Action

3. Anti-infective properties of breast milk

4. Psychological profit

5. Effective contraception

B. Formula Feeding

II.Practices in the Philippines that contribute to problem of breastfeeding

A. Duration (short) of breastfeeding in the Philippines...
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