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Knowledge of young women concerning the impact of natural feeding on the growth and state of health of a baby

Chair and Department of Paediatric Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
The I Faculty of Medicine with Dentistry Division, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
[b]Introduction[/b]. Proper nutrition in childhood has a huge significance for the optimal physical and psychical growth and good state of health of a baby. Natural feeding is admittedly the healthiest method of feeding infants. In spite of increased knowledge about the short and long-term benefits of feeding babies with human milk, the percentage of infants nourished only by breastfeeding is still too low. Knowledge about the health benefits of breast milk should be spread among young women. [b]Objective.[/b] The aim of the study was to attempt to discover how much knowledge young women have about the impact of natural feeding on the growth and state of health of a baby, as well as estimating the need for education in this area. [b]Materials and method[/b]. Questionnaire study conducted in 2013 among 155 young women (average age 25.43±5.98 years) in Poland and in Belgium. [b]Results.[/b] Own studies show that natural feeding still needs promotion and support. Knowledge about this among respondents varied and was incomplete. Often, they did not know all the benefits of natural feeding. The majority of respondents were aware that breastfeeding influenced the growth and health of the baby, but they did not have full knowledge about it. The respondents also did not have sufficient knowledge about the advantages of natural feeding in subsequent adult life. Only a small percentage of respondents (15%) had good knowledge about the benefits of breastfeeding. A higher level of knowledge occurred among women living in Poland who were older, better educated, lived in cities, and had breastfed earlier. [b]Conclusions[/b]. A quite varied and not too high level of knowledge among young women about the benefits of natural feeding was observed, which points to the necessity of intensification of educational activities among them in this area