|Breastfeeding Education and the Role of Physical Therapy: A Cross-sectional Survey|
|Sattam M. Almutairi1, Raghad S. Aljutaily2, Raghad S. Alshuwayman2, Marzouq Almutairi1, Yousef M. Alshehre3|
|1Physical Therapy Department, College of Medical Rehabilitation Science, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia 52571
2 Physiotherapy Department, College of Medical Rehabilitation Science, Qassim University, Buraydah, Saudi Arabia 52571
3Physiotherapy Department, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Tabuk, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia
IJWHR 2023; 11: 160-167
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Keywords : Breastfeeding, Mothers, Physical therapy modalities, Postpartum period
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Objectives: This study aimed to assess the level of breastfeeding (BF) knowledge and the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders associated with BF among mothers.
Materials and Methods: The participants were given a questionnaire containing 20 questions regarding their knowledge of BF practices and the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders. The responses were reported as mean, standard deviation (SD), number (n), frequencies (f), and percentages (%).
Results: The study included 941 participants aged 18 to 49, with a median age of 31-35. Nearly half (47.9%; n = 451) of participants had no knowledge of the health advantages of BF. Furthermore, 82.6% (n = 777) of participants did not receive educational courses or information about childbirth during pregnancy or postnatal. Moreover, 42.7% (n = 402) reported BF-related musculoskeletal pain. The results showed that the least common information provided by doctors or other healthcare providers to mothers was that BF could reduce the risk of some types of cancer (13.6%; n = 128) and asthma and shortness of breath in children (14.1%; n = 133). The most common information was that breastfed children are at a lower risk of getting sick than formula-fed children (41.7%; n = 392).
Conclusions: The study showed a lack of knowledge regarding the benefits of BF and a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among BF mothers in Saudi Arabia. We strongly recommend increasing the number of educational courses that provide knowledge and skills related to BF practices and appropriate positioning during BF.
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