Born in Chains: Perceptions of Brazilian Mothers Deprived of Freedom about Breastfeeding

Alessandro Leite Cavalcanti, Gabriela Maria Cavalcanti Costa, Suely Deysny de Matos Celino, Rejane Rodovalho Corrêa, Raenilson Araújo Ramos, Alidianne Fábia Cabral Cavalcanti

Abstract


Objective: To analyze the perception of mothers deprived of freedom about breastfeeding. Material and Methods: This cross-sectional study was developed in four prison units in the state of Paraíba, Brazil. The non-probabilistic type sample was composed of inmates who were breastfeeding. Information regarding mother, infant, prenatal care, breastfeeding and sucking habits were collected. Data were analyzed through the Statistical Package for Social Sciences and presented through descriptive statistics. Results: Of the 496 women under closed prison system, only 13 (2.6%) were breastfeeding their children in the prison environment. The age of mothers ranged from 19 to 35 years, and the most frequent age group was 19-23 years (46.2%). The majority had no partner (84.6%), low schooling (60%) and had other children (84.6%). All were pregnant when they were arrested and 76.9% underwent cesarean delivery. Infants aged 1-5 months and 61.5% were female. The majority of inmates performed prenatal care (76.9%), with prison being the referred site (60%). Participation in educational activities on breastfeeding was reported by 90.9%, and nurses were the health professionals who provided these guidelines (66.6%). Exclusive breastfeeding was reported by 69.2%, but the maximum period was two months (33.3%). All mothers complemented breastfeeding (100%). Nocturnal breastfeeding was reported by 15.4%, being used for the child to sleep. All children started bottle-feeding from the first trimester of life. Pacifier use was observed in all infants. Conclusion: Inmates are predominantly young, single, of low schooling and underwent cesarean delivery. Prenatal care was carried out at the prison and mothers participated in educational activities about breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding was reported by the majority; however, the maximum time was two months. All infants used bottle and pacifier use was reported from birth.

Keywords


Infant; Prisoners; Vulnerable Populations; Breast Feeding

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References


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