Authors: Alexandrina Cardoso, Abel Paiva e Silva, Heimar Marín
Introduction: To explore Portuguese pregnant women’ knowledge on breastfeeding and to correlate knowledge scores with the socio-demographic variables. Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to assess 621 pregnant women’ knowledge on breastfeeding at three health centers in the North of Portugal. The face-to-face interviewing was used to collected data using a clinical instrument composed by 18 knowledge breastfeeding descriptors. The reliability of the instrument was very good (KR-20 = 0.88). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to examine pregnant women’ knowledge and the relation with socio-demographics variables. Results: Pregnant women were found to be more knowledgeable in benefits of breastfeeding. In 14 knowledge descriptors more than 60% of pregnant women revealed lack of knowledge. The most usual lack of knowledge concerned how to increase lactation and how to deal with breastfeeding complications. The pregnant women more knowledgeable were the oldest, with higher education, and with previous experience on breastfeeding. Discussion: Pregnant women revealed a significant lack of knowledge to support basic breastfeeding decisions. The focus of care should emphasize on the younger, the first-time mothers and less well-educated women as particular vulnerable and poorer prepared groups concerning breastfeeding knowledge.
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