• HIYAM ALI ABDULLAH College of Nursing, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region-Iraq
  • IMAN YOUSIF ABDULMALEK College of Nursing, University of Duhok, Kurdistan Region-Iraq
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Knowledge, Practice, Factors affected breastfeeding


Background: Breastfeeding has been found to have a positive influence on a child's health even after 12 months of postpartum. The World Health Organization and United Nation Children Fund recommend a continued breastfeeding for up 2 years or beyond. Breastfeeding is widely known for its benefits to both mother and infant. The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors that affect breastfeeding knowledge and practice of women who recently delivered in Duhok city.

Method: A cross-sectional study, using a self-administered questionnaire among women who attended Duhok Hospital of Obstetrics and Gynecology between 14 November 2021 and 14 February 2022. All the participants were women aged 18-40 years.

Result: All the participants were married women and multiparas ≥2 babies, aged 18-40 years with mean age of 29.22±5.6, more than one third (38.5%) was below 30 years old, and (33.5%) were having primary school educational levels. The women knowledge about breastfeeding in all of 400 recruited women were good in (91%) of them with a positive practice in (58.8%).  The most common factors for discontinuing breastfeeding completely before 2 years in the previous deliveries were "insufficient breast milk production" in (36%), "felt it was the time to stop" in (34.3%), and "became pregnant or wanted to become pregnant again" was in (24.8%) of the study sample. The relation between the mode of delivery and women’s practices toward breastfeeding was a highly significance (P= 0.001).

Conclusion: The most common barriers or factors responsible for stopping breastfeeding were the “felt it was time to stop" as lactating factors and "insufficient breast milk production" as psychological factor. Breastfeeding knowledge and practice were found to be modifiable factors that affect breastfeeding. The vast majority of the study sample had good knowledge about breastfeeding, with positive practices toward breastfeeding in half of the study sample


Download data is not yet available.


Abdulrahman, M. A., & Saleh, Z. A. (2020). Knowledge of Mothers Towards Exclusive Breastfeeding in Erbil's Maternity Hospital. Mosul Journal of Nursing, 8(2), 225-237. doi:DOI:10.33899/mjn.2020.167137.
Al-Nasrawii, m. s. A.-A., Ali Neamah, & Mohammed, A. A. A.-L. G. (2019). Knowledge and Awareness among Mothers Regarding Exclusive Breastfeeding in Holy Karbala City/Iraq. doi:DOI:10.21203/rs.2.19494/v1.
Al Ketbi, M. I., Al Noman, S., Al Ali, A., Darwish, E., Al Fahim, M., & Rajah, J. (2018). Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Breastfeeding among Women Visiting Primary Healthcare Clinics on the Island of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. International breastfeeding journal, 13(1), 1-14. doi:DOI:10.1186/s13006-018-0165-x.
Andreas, N. J., Kampmann, B., & Le-Doare, K. M. (2015). Human Breast Milk: A review on its composition and bioactivity. Early human development, 91(11), 629-635. doi:DOI:10.1016.
Europe, W. (2021). Guidance on Routine Immunization Services During Covid‐19 Pandemic in the Who European Region, 20 March 2020 (produced by WHO/Europe). A4 Prelims English restricted distribution Accessed, 16.
Global Breastfeeding Scorecard. (2018). Enabling Women to Breastfeed through Better Policies and Programmes. In.
Haddad, L. J., Hawkes, C., Achadi, E., Ahuja, A., Ag Bendech, M., Bhatia, K., . . . Eriksen, K. (2015). Global Nutrition Report 2015: Actions And Accountability To Advance Nutrition And Sustainable Development: International Food Policy Research Institute.
Hasan, M., Hassan, M. N., Khan, M. S. I., Tareq, M. A., & Afroj, M. S. (2021). Prevalence, Knowledge, Attitudes and Factors Associated with Exclusive Breastfeeding among Mothers in Dhaka, Bangladesh: A cross-sectional study. Population Medicine, 3(September), 1-7. doi:DOI:10.18332/popmed/140132.
Hoseini, B. L., Vakili, R., Khakshour, A., Saeidi, M., Zarif, B., & Nateghi, S. (2014). Maternal Knowledge and Attitude Toward Exclusive Breast Milk Feeding (Bmf) in the First 6 Months of Infant Life in Mashhad. International Journal of Pediatrics, 2(1), 63-69.
Jama, A., Gebreyesus, H., Wubayehu, T., Gebregyorgis, T., Teweldemedhin, M., Berhe, T., & Berhe, N. (2020). Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and its associated factors among children age 6-24 months in Burao district, Somaliland. International breastfeeding journal, 15(1), 1-8. doi:DOI:10.1186/s13006-020-0252-7.
Junaid, M., & Patil, S. (2018). Breastfeeding Practices among Lactating Mothers of a Rural Area of Central India: A Cross-Sectional Study. International Journal of Community Medicine Public Health, 5(12), 5242-5245. doi:DOI:10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph2018479.
Mahmud, N. A. (2011). Knowledge of Breastfeeding: A Descriptive Study among Mothers in Kirkuk Governorate. Iraqi National Journal of Nursing Specialties, 24(2).
Maryam, Z., Moniralsadat, H. T., Zohreh, K., Banafsheh, M. Z., & Amir, S. (2014). The Knowledge and Attitudes towards Breastfeeding of Iranian Mothers during the First Year after Delivery in 2013. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 2(4), 635-639. doi:DOI:10.3889/oamjms.2014.114.
Nahida, A. (2007). Knowledge Attitude and Practice on Dengue Fever. Thesis for Masters in Public Health. College of Public Health Sciences …,
Nukpezah, R. N., Nuvor, S. V., & Ninnoni, J. (2018). Knowledge and Practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding among Mothers in the Tamale Metropolis of Ghana. Reproductive health, 15(1), 1-9. doi:DOI:10.1186/s12978-018-0579-3.
Omer, W., & Al-Hadithi, T. (2017). Developing a Socioeconomic Index for Health Research in Iraq. East Mediterr Health J, 23(10), 670-677. doi:DOI:10.26719/2017.23.10.670.
Pattison, K. L., Kraschnewski, J. L., Lehman, E., Savage, J. S., Downs, D. S., Leonard, K. S., . . . Kjerulff, K. H. (2019). Breastfeeding Initiation and Duration and Child Health Outcomes in the First Baby Study. Preventive medicine, 118, 1-6. doi:DOI:10.1016.
Rollins, N. C., Bhandari, N., Hajeebhoy, N., Horton, S., Lutter, C. K., Martines, J. C., . . . Group, T. L. B. S. (2016). Why Invest, and What it Will Take to Improve Breastfeeding Practices? Lancet, 387(10017), 491-504. doi:DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01044-2.
Sdeeq, N. S., & Saleh, A. M. (2021). Determinants of Exclusive Breastfeeding Practice for the First Six Months in Mothers with Infants between 6 and 15 Months of Age in Erbil City, Iraq: A Cross-sectional Study. Zanco Journal of Medical Sciences, 25(1), 406-414. doi:DOI:10.15218/zjms.2021.001.
Sinshaw, Y. K., Kassahun Tesfa, Mulugeta (2015). Exclusive Breast Feeding Practice and Associated Factors Among Mothers in Debre Markos Town and Gozamen District, East Gojjam Zone, North West Ethiopia. J Food Nutr Sci, 3(5), 174-179. doi:DOI:10.11648/j.jfns.20150305.12
Takahashi, K., Ganchimeg, T., Ota, E., Vogel, J. P., Souza, J. P., Laopaiboon, M., . . . Lumbiganon, P. (2017). Prevalence of Early Initiation of Breastfeeding and Determinants of Delayed Initiation of Breastfeeding: Secondary Analysis of the WHO Global Survey. Scientific reports, 7(1), 1-10. doi:DOI:10.1038/srep44868.
Venugopal, S., & Arulparithi, C. (2018). A Study on Knowledge of Breast Feeding and Complementary Feeding Practices among Mothers in A Rural Area, Tamil Nadu, India. International Journal of Contemporary Pediatrics, 5(5), 1790. doi:DOI:10.18203/2349-3291.ijcp20183395.
Victora, C. G., Bahl, R., Barros, A. J., França, G. V., Horton, S., Krasevec, J., . . . Rollins, N. C. (2016). Breastfeeding in the 21st Century: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Lifelong Effect. Lancet, 387(10017), 475-490. doi:DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01024-7.
World Health Organization. (2017). Iraq health profile 2015. Retrieved from
World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund. (2003). Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization.
Yalçin, S. S., Nergiz, M. E., Yalçin, S., & Keklik, K. (2021). Breastfeeding Characteristics of Syrian Refugees in Turkey. Retrieved from
Zarei, S., Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, S., Mohammadi, A., Effati-Daryani, F., & Mirghafourvand, M. (2022). Predictors of Exclusive Breastfeeding in Mothers Visiting Tabriz Health Centers in Iran: A Cross-sectional Study. Journal of Midwifery Reproductive Health, 10(1), 3155-3164. doi:DOI:10.22038/jmrh.2021.59978.1721
How to Cite
ABDULLAH, H. A., & ABDULMALEK, I. Y. (2022). FACTORS AFFECTING KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE TOWARDS BREASTFEEDING IN WOMEN WHO HAVE RECENTLY DELIVERED IN DUHOK CITY. Journal of Duhok University, 25(2), 105-113. https://doi.org/10.26682/sjuod.2022.25.2.10
Pure and Engineering Sciences