Objectives: This study was conducted to determine prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life and to identify factors that interfere with this practice in the study area.
Methods: A retrograde cross-sectional study included 1,059 mothers who attended the rural health unit to immunize their young children (6-24 months old) in Al Der village in Kaliubia Governorate, Egypt.
Results: We found 95.8% of mothers (1,015 of 1,059) breastfeeding their babies, whereas only 9.7% (103 of 1,059) were exclusively breastfeeding their infants for 6 months. Among the different sociodemographic, maternal, and infant factors studied, only antenatal care (four or more visits), early breastfeeding initiation after delivery, male infant, and absence of breastfeeding difficulties were the significant predictors associated with higher chance for exclusive breastfeeding.
Conclusions: This study indicates that the prevalence rate of exclusive breastfeeding is low in Egypt and that interventions are needed to bridge the gap between the current practices of breastfeeding and the World Health Organization recommendations.