World Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 601–609 | Cite as

Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding in relation to knowledge, attitude and practice of breastfeeding mothers in Rabigh community, Western Saudi Arabia

  • Moustafa A. HegaziEmail author
  • Mousa Allebdi
  • Mohammed Almohammadi
  • Abdulelah Alnafie
  • Lama Al-Hazmi
  • Shahad Alyoubi
Original Article



There is much concern about declining rates of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) all over the world including Saudi Arabia which deprives infants from many immunological, nutritional, and psychosocial benefits. This study was performed to determine EBF prevalence and factors influencing EBF in relation to knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of breastfeeding mothers (BFM) in Rabigh, Western Saudi Arabia.


Data about factors that could be associated with EBF and KAP of BFM were collected by cross-sectional questionnaire-based study from 420 BFM.


Prevalence of EBF for 6 months was 27.6% which is far below World Health Organization recommendations. Demographic, socioeconomic, biomedical as well as most studied variables of KAP of 50% to over 90% of participating mothers were adequate to account for low EBF rate. Proper knowledge about benefits of colostrum and continuation of breastfeeding for 2 years was given by only 86.2% and 36.7% of BFM, respectively. The most significant independent factors associated with EBF were perception of sufficient human milk [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 2.89; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.72–4.89], absence of nipple pain (AOR 2.77; 95% CI 1.72–4.45) and mothers without university education (AOR 1.86; 95% CI 1.15–3.01). Early introduction of formula in hospital after birth was the main inappropriate feeding practice in 76.2% of infants of BFM.


Findings of this study should be utilized by Rabigh community and other national or worldwide communities with similar characters to promote EBF by targeted educational programs after identification of significant factors influencing EBF and gaps in KAP of BFM.


Exclusive breastfeeding Factors Rabigh Saudi Arabia 



Authors would like to acknowledge all mothers who participated in this research study, Dalal Ayedh Alharbi, intern at Btterjee Medical College, and 6th year students of FMR (Fuad Ayyadah Almurashi and Mohammed Suliman Alaslani) who contributed to this research as data collectors.

Author contributions

HM was responsible for the concept and design of the study, analysis and interpretation of the data and drafting of the article. MA, MA, AA, LAH, and SA contributed to the design of the study, acquisition and analysis of data, and drafting the article. All authors contributed to the critical revision and final approval of the manuscript to be published.


No financial support was provided for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

This study protocol was approved by Research Ethics Committee of Faculty of Medicine in Rabigh, King Abdulaziz University.

Conflict of interest

No financial or non-financial benefits have been received or will be received from any party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. All authors report no conflicts of interests and have no relevant disclosures.


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Copyright information

© Children's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moustafa A. Hegazi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mousa Allebdi
    • 3
  • Mohammed Almohammadi
    • 3
  • Abdulelah Alnafie
    • 3
  • Lama Al-Hazmi
    • 3
  • Shahad Alyoubi
    • 3
  1. 1.Pediatric Department, Faculty of Medicine in RabighKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Pediatric DepartmentMansoura University Children’s HospitalMansouraEgypt
  3. 3.Faculty of Medicine in RabighKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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