Objective The aim of the study was to detect how long children from the capital city of north-west Poland (Szczecin) are breastfed, what the reasons for giving it up are and whether mothers with lactation problems get any support.
Methods In the research, 100 randomly chosen women possessing children aged 12–18 months and living in Szczecin were examined. The questionnaire that served as the research tool was used to collect data in a direct interview as a research method.
Results Eight per cent of women did not take up breastfeeding after childbirth; 8% did not take up breastfeeding at all. 8.7% of mothers were breastfeeding for one month after childbirth and 24% for 3 months. Over 66% of mothers fed their babies for over 6 months. The most common reasons for giving up breastfeeding were: return to work, 43.3%; insufficient lactation, 29.3% and baby’s reluctance to breast suction, 18.5%. 62% of breastfeeding women benefited from help with lactation problems, but only 6% visited breastfeeding outpatient services and breastfeeding support groups.
Conclusions It is necessary to promote breastfeeding so that all women could take up breastfeeding after childbirth. Despite the fact that the index of mothers breastfeeding longer than 6 months is satisfactory, mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed at least till 2 years of age. A system of lactation support and professional support for breastfeeding mothers should be developed.