Background: Breastfeeding is considered the optimal infant feeding method with numerous benefits for both mother and infant. This study aims to assess breastfeeding Knowledge and determine barriers to exclusive breastfeeding among mothers attending the Primary Health Care Centers in Jazan City. The scope of this research is to suggest a strategy for encouraging mothers in Jazan for the crucial needs for exclusive breastfeeding and overcoming the barriers of breastfeeding.
Methods: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study that included all mothers attending the PHC center. Data was collected through a self-administered questionnaire. SPSS was used for data analysis using the student T-test and ANOVA Test.
Results: Most study participants understand breastfeeding's health benefits for babies and mothers, but most believe that synthetic milk is the best alternative for working mothers' to feed their babies. 66.7% of mothers practiced exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of the child's life, and only 28.9% continued exclusive breastfeeding for six months. During the first six months of the child's life, exclusive breastfeeding shows a significant relationship with breastfeeding knowledge and barriers. Sixty percent of mothers have ever had any information about breastfeeding; those who knew the primary source were from their mothers and only 31.4% from hospital staff. Most of the respondents did not agree with the statements given to them as exclusive breastfeeding barriers, which grabs attention to an unexpected response.
Conclusions: Most participants have good knowledge concerning breastfeeding benefits for both the mother and infants and disagreed on the mentioned barriers for exclusive breastfeeding that include lack of breastmilk, feel of Fatigue and tiredness, High household burdens, Father does not encourage breastfeeding, use of birth contraception, embarrassment of breastfeeding in public and in front of family members, lack of information and sufficient support and guidance on the importance of B.F., working conditions, bad smell of the nursing mother, transmission of diseases from mother to the child. Health care professionals should actively work hard to encourage mothers, raise their awareness and find the root cause for low exclusive breastfeeding practice rates.