Folia Medica 61(4): 566-571, doi: 10.3897/folmed.61.e47858
Socio-demographic Factors Affecting Initiation and Duration of Breastfeeding in a Culturally Diverse Area of North Eastern Greece
expand article infoEirini Tsanidou§, Vasiliki Gougoula, Athanasios Tselebonis, Christos Kontogiorgis, Theodoros C. Constantinidis, Evangelia Nena
‡ Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece§ Department of Public Health, Region of East Macedonia-Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
Open Access

Background: Breastfeeding is not only important for the bond between the mother and the child but is also associated with many health benefits. Socio-demographic factors have been found to be important for the initiation and longer duration of breastfeeding. 

Aim: To record the breastfeeding characteristics and to explore possible associations with socio-cultural and demographic factors in a culturally diverse area in Greece.

Materials and methods: A questionnaire including information about breastfeeding characteristics, medical history and demographics was completed by parents of children in the primary schools of the area.

Results: The study included 700 school-age children (352 boys), mean age 9.4±1.9 years. Breastfeeding was reported in 54.9% of them, with median (IQR) duration of 120 (range 60-360) days. Prevalence of breastfeeding was slightly higher in semi-urban areas, versus rural or urban settlements, but the duration there was significantly lower (p<0.001). Better educated mothers tended to initiate or sustain breastfeeding for a longer period; however, this difference was not statistically significant. Children of the native Muslim minority had been breastfed for a longer time (median duration 360 vs. 120 days, p<0.001), however, no difference was noted in prevalence.

Conclusion: Prevalence of breastfeeding in Greece is approximately 55%, similar to previous reports and along with duration is determined by certain socio-cultural factors.

breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding duration, Greece, socio-demographic factors