Document Type : Original Article


1 Non-Communicable Diseases Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 MSc of Medical Education, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Manager of Family Health Unit, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Community Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Department of Occupational Health Engineering, School of Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health, Social Development and Health Promotion Research Center, Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, Gonabad, Iran


Background and aims: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Fund have recommended that breastfeeding be continued until two years of age or over. This study aimed to investigate the duration of breastfeeding and weaning in children aged 6-24 months in south of Iran.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2017 on 1653 children aged 6-24 months in Fars province of Iran. A multi-stage sampling was used and the data were obtained using a questionnaire including questions about breastfeeding and some related factors, as well as demographic questions about the children and their parents. The required information was collected by visiting and interviewing those mothers who had children aged 6-24 months in their homes. Data were evaluated using SPSS software (version 20.0) and performing descriptive and analytical statistics such as independent samples t test and one-way ANOVA.
Results: On average, the children were breastfed up to 18.64 ± 7.40 months of age and the mean age of initiation of complementary feeding was 5.86 ± 1.04 months. Breastfeeding was stopped for 35.6% of children at the age of 24 months and higher. Mothers having had a normal vaginal delivery had a longer lactation period than mothers who had had cesarean delivery (19.27 and 18.05 months, respectively) (P = 0.021).
Conclusion: A decrease was observed in the mean duration of breastfeeding in this study compared to that obtained in the previous studies, and this decrease was found to be associated with the increase in the occurrence of cesarean delivery in mothers. Therefore, it was recommended that further comprehensive investigations be carried out in this regard.


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