Assessment of hospital rooming-in practice in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: A cross-sectional multi-center study

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends rooming-in to reduce infant mortality rates. Little research has been done to assess practices such as rooming-in and its relation to breastfeeding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of rooming-in during hospital stay among mothers with infants six months old and below, in addition to other associated factors in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This study utilized a sub-sample extracted from a dataset based on a convenience sample of mothers who were recruited from governmental maternal and child health centers as well as from the community. The purpose of the original research was to evaluate infant and young children’s feeding practices. A pre-tested questionnaire was used during interviews with mothers once ethical clearance was in place. Multivariable logistic regression was conducted to describe the results. The original sample included 1822 participants, of which 804 infants met the inclusion criteria. The mean age for mothers and infants was 30.3 years and 3.5 months, respectively. The rate of rooming-in during hospital stay was 97.5%. Multivariable logistic regression analysis indicated factors associated with not rooming-in were low maternal age (Adjusted Odds Ratios (AOR) = 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03, 1.30), low gestational age (GA) (AOR = 1.90, 95% CI: 1.52, 2.36), abnormal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) (AOR = 3.77, 95 % CI: 1.22, 11.76), and delayed initiation of breastfeeding (AOR = 4.47, 95 % CI: 1.08, 18.48). In the context of the high rate of rooming-in revealed in this study, there should be a focus on those groups who do not room-in (i.e., younger women and those with babies of a younger gestational age). Rooming-in practice provides self-confidence in taking care of a baby, knowledge about breastfeeding, and stimulates early-phase lactation.

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