Author(s): Amin RM
BACKGROUND: This cross-sectional study assesses factors that contribute to discontinuing breastfeeding among employed mothers in Malaysia. METHODS: A structured questionnaire was used in conducting this study involving all government health clinics in Petaling district between July and September 2006. Respondents were Malaysian women with children between the ages of six to twelve months who were formally employed. Factors studied were selected socio-demographic and work-related characteristics. RESULTS: From a total of 290 respondents, 51% discontinued breastfeeding. The majority (54%) of mothers who discontinued breastfeeding had breastfed their babies for less than three months. Compared to Malay mothers, the risk of breastfeeding discontinuation were higher among Chinese (AOR 3.7, 95% CI: 1.7, 7.8) and Indian mothers (AOR 7.3, 95% CI 1.9, 27.4). Not having adequate breastfeeding facilities at the workplace was also a risk factor for breastfeeding discontinuation (AOR 1.8, 95% CI: 1.05, 3.1). CONCLUSION: It is important that workplaces provide adequate breastfeeding facilities such as a room in which to express breast milk and a refrigerator, and allow mothers flexible time to express breast milk.