Background: Health professionals have a crucial role in promotion, support and management of breastfeeding. To be effective in this effort, the clinician should focus on the issue from the preconception stage through pregnancy and delivery, and continue in subsequent infant care. Aim of the study: to assess the effectiveness of the UNICEF/WHO 40-hour of breast feeding training through the assess breastfeeding knowledge and attitudes of the health profession staff before and after training course. Methodology: Pre-posttest study with an intervention of an educational training course were conducted in Karbala maternity Hospital, during the period from May till July, 2016.A total of 90 participants arrange to reply to the invitation, Self-administered questionnaires were designed which include general demographic information, items related to the knowledge and attitude regarding the breast feeding. Statistical analysis was performed using the SPSS program (version 20) Results were presented as the frequencies and percentage in tables and figures. Chi-square test was used to determine any association found between these demographic variables and knowledge and attitudes. P value < 0.05 considered as cut off value for significance. Results: The study revealed that the majority 48.9% of the participants achieved fair level score of knowledge regarding to breast feeding in pretest while the knowledge score improved as the majority 75.6% reported good knowledge in posttest. There is improvement regarding the knowledge related to basic information, breast feeding problems management and hospital policies supporting breast feeding. This improvement was significant statistically regrading knowledge related to the basic information (sings of adequate breast feeding 77.8%, breast feeding with local anesthesia 82.2%, , breast feeding benefit 97.8% and contraindication to breast feeding84.4% with p<0.05. There is an improvement in good attitude from pretest to posttest in each attitude questions except for Q 14 and Q 15 (Formula is as healthy for an infant as breast milk, Breast-feeding is more convenient. than formula-feeding) the attitude is slightly reversed in the posttest. Significant statistical association were reported regarding the effect of the course of breast feeding promotion training in certain aspects of attitude questions especially the breast feeding benefit aspect. Conclusions: UNICEF/WHO 40-hour of breast feeding training was effective tool to assess the breast feeding knowledge and attitudes among health profession staff that provide maternity care.
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