Background: The understanding of what mothers think about breastfeeding helps in developing successful breastfeeding promotion programs. This study aims to assess the maternal knowledge, attitude, and practice about the complementary feeding for infants aged 6-12 months.
Methods: A cross-sectional study designed to interview 219 mothers with children between 6-12 months. Data was collected between 1st March and 30th April 2019 from ten maternal and child health clinics (MCHCs) in Anbar Province, Iraq. SPSS version 16.0 was recruited to analyze the data. Descriptive and inferential statistics such as Chi-square used to present data with the significance level set at less than 0.05.
Results: The mean age of respondents was 27.76 ± 6.3 years, and 31% were at the primary school level. Two third (66.82%) of the surveyed mothers exclusively used breastfeeding to feed their infants. Most women (84.09%) have the correct knowledge about the best time to start complementary food. The vast majority of women (93.64%) refused to give vitamins to children even with signs of malnutrition.
Conclusion: Although exclusive breastfeeding is common among mothers of the western region in Iraq, there is still a considerable percentage depend on the mixture of breastfeeding and bottle feeding. The positive impact of the family and society on mothers was evident. However, more attention should be given to improve knowledge, attitude, and practice through qualified healthcare providers.