Cecile Leah T. Bayaga1*, Marietoni B. Pico1, Jethro Ian G. Belano1,
Demetria C. Bongga1, and Alonzo A. Gabriel2
1Breastmilk Research Laboratory; 2Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Hygiene
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics
University of the Philippines (UP), Diliman, Quezon City 1101 Philippines
Based on the most recent national nutrition survey from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the number of Filipino children who are being exclusively breastfed slightly declined from 52.3% in 2013 to 48.8% in 2015. Workplace barriers and familial support may influence the decision of exclusive breastfeeding practices. Furthermore, the educational attainment of the mothers may also influence their employment status affecting their decision to breastfeed or not. The aim of this study is to find a correlation among employment status, educational attainment, and civil status of lactating mothers with their practice to conduct exclusive breastfeeding. Twenty-three (23) lactating mothers from Makati, Taguig, and Mandaluyong cities answered a questionnaire identifying their employment status, educational attainment, and if they practiced exclusive breastfeeding or not. Association of the identified factors was measured using Cramer’s V coefficient. Results generated in the study showed a strong relationship between employment status, educational attainment, and civil status with the practice of exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers who did not practice exclusive breastfeeding were found to be those who were employed, married, and with higher educational attainment. Based on the results it is recommended that more means, such as having nursery rooms in the company and allowing flexible working hours for the first two months from maternity leave to working mothers for them to be able to practice exclusive breastfeeding shall be provided. Mothers should also be given more information on how to provide breastmilk to their infants even if they are not at home, such as providing education on storing milk at home. Further studies are also encouraged to look into more factors, which affect breastfeeding practice.
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