Abstract

Purpose: To conduct a knowledge, attitudes and practices study of breastfeeding in the province of Krong Kep, Cambodia.

Methods: Mothers' breastfeeding knowledge, attitudes and practices were evaluated using a structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered in Khmer to women with at least one child less than 60 months of age. Women meeting the eligibility requirements (N = 141) answered questions regarding their infant feeding practices, including initiation and duration of breastfeeding.

Findings: In Cambodia, the decision to breastfeed is rooted in a history of poverty. Twenty-five percent of women sampled initiated breastfeeding within the first hour post-delivery. In total, 82% of women initiated breastfeeding within the first 24 hours post-delivery, and 53% of women breastfed exclusively for exactly the recommended 6 months' duration. Nine women who reported exclusive breastfeeding for 6months did not initiate breastfeeding within the first 24 hours post-delivery, likely because of the cultural practice of "roasting." Professional breastfeeding support programs do not exist in Krong Kep, Cambodia.