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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


FUJIMORI, Mahmi et al. The attitudes of primary school children to breastfeeding and the effect of health education lectures. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.3, pp.224-231. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To assess attitudes to breastfeeding among children in primary education and to evaluate the influence of educational lectures on their knowledge. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of 503 students of both sexes from the fourth to the eighth grades of five different schools. The children were divided into two groups: control (n = 215) and intervention (n = 288) in order to evaluate the influence of educational lectures. A questionnaire containing 30 questions about different features of breastfeeding was used for data collection. The intervention took the form of a 30-minute lecture, given at the schools. RESULTS: The lecture increased the number of schoolchildren who answered that breastmilk is most beneficial for infants (p < 0.05) and that breastfeeding is the most practical way of feeding babies (p < 0.05). There was a reduction in the number who would give supplementary feeding during the first month of life (p < 0.05) and also in how many would give a baby a pacifier (p < 0.05). After the intervention less than half of the girls would chose to breastfeed for 1 year or more (39.1% in the control group vs. 43.2% in the intervention group); while the opposite was true of the males (54.7% in the control group vs. 51.7% in the intervention group). More of the boys (37.1%) were able to cite specific advantages for mothers from breastfeeding when compared to the females (19.9%). CONCLUSION: The results indicate that lectures on health education, presented at schools, have a beneficial effect on breastfeeding knowledge, awareness and attitudes.

Keywords : Breastfeeding; health education; schoolchildren.

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