Objective The beneficial role of breast-feeding for maternal and child health is now well established. Its possible role in helping to prevent diabetes and obesity in children in later life means that more attention must be given to understanding how patterns of infant feeding are changing. The present study describes breast-feeding profiles and associated factors in Kuwait. Design/Setting/Subjects Interviews with 1484 recent mothers were undertaken at immunisation clinics across Kuwait. Descriptive analysis and binary logistic regression of results were performed. Results Rates of breast-feeding initiation in Kuwait were high (98·1 %) but by the time of discharge from hospital, only 36·5 % of mothers were fully breast-feeding, 37·0 % were partially breast-feeding and 26·5 % were already fully formula-feeding. Multiple social and health reasons were given for weaning the child, with 87·6 % of mothers who had stopped breast-feeding completely doing so within 3 months postpartum. Nationality (P<0·001), employment status 6 months prior to delivery (P<0·001), mode of delivery (P=0·01), sex of the child (P=0·026) and breast-feeding information given by nurses (P=0·026) were all found to be significantly associated with breast-feeding. Few women (5·6 %) got information on infant nutrition and feeding from nursing staff, but those who did were 2·54 times more likely to be still breast-feeding at discharge from hospital. Over 70 % of mothers had enjoyed breast-feeding and 74 % said they would be very likely to breast-feed again. Conclusions In Kuwait where the prevalence of both obesity and type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly, the public health role of breast-feeding must be recognised and acted upon more than it has in the past.
- Diabetes prevention