Background: Human milk is the ideal and uniquely superior food for infant for first year of life. Some
sociodemographic factor correlate most strongly with the prevalence and duration of breast feeding.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of breast feeding and factors influencing the feeding practices in a study
population in Thi-Qar governorate.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Methods: in three hospitals in Thi-qar governorate, the mother of infants in the primary health care units of these
hospitals, had been randomly selected and interviewed with a questionnaire which included information about the
age, sex and mode of feeding for the infants, and the sociodemographic status of the mothers. The sociodemographic
variables included, urban / rural residence, educational level, occupation or employment, family income, place and
type of delivery and contraceptive use.
Results: the prevalence of breast feeding was 90%, and bottle feeding prevalence was 10%; the mean time of weaning
was 11 months. Factor that were significantly associated with duration of breast feeding were maternal age, level of
education, area of residence, occupation, family income, place and type of delivery and contraceptive use. The most
common reasons for refusing to breast feed were in adequately secreted milk and the mother employment outside the
Conclusions: the prevalence of women nursing breast feeding was higher than the estimated national data the
prevalence of the bottle-feeding was higher in women who needed to work out of their homes and in those with
higher educational level