Background: The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of women about breastfeeding in Italy. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out between January and June 2016 in the Campania Region among mothers who were going to six public vaccination centers. Data were collected by two researchers through face to face interviews. Results: Two thirds of the women had heard on exclusive breastfeeding (64.6%) and the 71% of them knew that exclusive breastfeeding should be practiced for at least six months. Nearly all mothers had breastfed their child (93.2%), but only 33.3% of them had practiced exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months. Women who agree that breastfeeding creates a positive relationship between the mother and the child, who practiced exclusive breastfeeding during the hospital stay, and who had received breastfeeding advice at hospital discharge were more likely to practice exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months. Conclusions: The results of this survey may be helpful to policy makers and managers when planning educational interventions on breastfeeding both during pregnancy and during hospital admissions for delivery. Indeed, there is a need to increase efforts to make mothers aware of health benefits of breastfeeding for themselves and their offspring during their hospital stay after delivery. This research has the potential to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates and subsequent maternal and child health outcomes.
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