International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2017 | Month: December | Volume: 7 | Issue: 12 | Pages: 20-24

Mothers’ Attitude and Practices on Breast Feeding in Sokoto, North-Western Nigeria

Murtala M. Ahmad1, Usman M. Sani1, Efe Abolodje1, Balarabe A. Isah2, Bello A. Mohammed3, Bilkisu I. Garba1

1Departments of Paediatrics,  2Community medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital Gusau.

Corresponding Author: Ahmad MM


Background: Although the benefits of breastfeeding (BF) are well established, a number of traditional and cultural practices still affect the sustenance of appropriate breastfeeding. Inappropriate breast feeding practices predisposes children to early risk of malnutrition and death. Therefore, understanding those practices and attitudes that may hinder appropriate BF will help in addressing them.
Objective: This study aimed to determine mothers’ attitudes and practices on breastfeeding and the prevalence of exclusive breast feeding among the respondents.
Methodology: This is a descriptive, cross sectional study targeted at breast feeding mothers, presenting to Paediatric clinics in two major Hospitals in Sokoto metropolis. Interviewer administered questionnaire was used for data collection. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.
Result: One hundred and thirty-two respondents were interviewed; with a mean age of 30.3±7.7 (range 18-56) years and mean parity of 4±2.7 (range 1-12) deliveries. Majority (78.8%) are Hausa by tribe, with only half of the respondents having secondary school education or higher. Only 34.8% of the respondents exclusively breastfed their last child for 6 months and 43.9% introduced complimentary feeds appropriately by 6months. Up to 10.6% of respondents have experienced interrupted BF and 39.4% of them did not recommence breast feeding after a period of more than 3 days of interruption, as they believed it would be harmful to the child. Majority said they would continue to breast feed even after becoming pregnant while breastfeeding and 60.6% would practice tandem nursing if the need should arise.
Conclusion: Exclusive BF practice among the study subjects was low and misconception about recommencing BF after a period of interruption was high. There is need for more enlightenment campaigns on breastfeeding and factors that may influence its sustenance in our communities.

Key words: Attitude, Breast feeding, Breast milk, Practice, Sokoto

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