SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL CORRELATES OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING AMONG NURSING MOTHER

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SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL CORRELATES OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING AMONG NURSING MOTHER

 

ABSTRACT

Proper breastfeeding practices are effective ways for reducing childhood morbidity and mortality, while many mothers understand the importance of breastfeeding, others are less knowledgeable on the benefits of breastfeeding and weaning. The aim in here i to assess breastfeeding pattern, infant formula feeding pattern, and weaning introduction in Nigeria and to investigate the factors that infant nutrition. 150 mothers were interviewed using a questionnaire which was designed to elicit information on infant feeding Statistical analysis were done using random sampling, whereby chi-square tests were used to evaluate relationship between different selected variable. The prevalence of breastfeeding practice in Nigeria has risen from 72% in 1991 to 93.4% as found in this study, while only 17.9% breastfed their children exclusively for the first 6 months, and the mean duration of EBF (exclusive breastfeeding) is 2.1 months. Complementary feeding was more commonly initiated around 4-6 months (75.2%). Despite the fact that 60.6% of mothers initiate breast feeding and 26.1% of mothers are found to breastfeed up to 2 years, the practice of EBF for the first 6 months is low (17.9 ). Factors found to influence infant feeding practices are type of delivery, parity, method of delivery, occupation, education problems.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is essential to ensure the growth, health, and development of children their full potential. It has been recognized worldwide that breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child, as breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for an infant. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, followed by breastfeeding along with complementary foods for up to age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding can be defined as a practice whereby the infants receive only breast milk and not been water, other liquids, tea, herbal preparations, or food during months of life, with the exception of vitamins, mineral supplements, or medicines. The major advantage of exclusive breastfeeding from to 6 months includes reduced morbidity due to gastrointestinal infection. However, manyresearchers are questioning there is sufficient evidence to confidently recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months for infants in developed countries due to the fact that breast milk may not meet the full energy requirements of e average infant at 6 months of age. Nevertheless, there is scanty data that give estimation about the proportion of exclusively breastfed infants at risk of specific nutritional deficiencies.

Several studies have shown that mothers find it difficult to meet personal goals and to adhere to the expert recommendations for continued and exclusive breastfeeding despite increase rate of initiations. Some of the major factors that affect exclusivity and duration of breastfeeding include breast problems such as sore nipples or mother's perceptions that she is producing inadequate milk, societal barriers such as employment and length of maternity leave; inadequate breastfeeding knowledge; lack of familial and societal support; lack of guidance and encouragement from health When breast milk or infant formula no longer supplies required energy and nutrients to sustain normal growth health and development, complementary feeding care professionals. These factors in tum promote the early use of breast milk substitute.

When breast milk or infant formula no longer supplies infants with required energy and nutrients to sustain normal growth and optimal health and development, complementary feeding should be introduced. According to the WHO recommendation, the appropriate age at which solids should be introduced is around 6 months owing to the immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract and the renal system as well as on the neurophysiological status of the infant. Factors that influence the weaning process include infant feeding problems such as refusal to eat, colic, and vomiting among These factors represent challenges for mothers and in tum direct or indirectly influence the feeding pattern Hence, understanding the factors affecting infant nutrition in Nigeria can help in developing strategies to promote breastfeeding and overcoming problems faced by mothers and children.

Predictors of breastfeeding and weaning practices vary between and within countries. Urban or rural difference, age, breast problems, good breastfeeding practices, mode of delivery, heal system practices, and community beliefs have all been found to influence breastfeeding in different areas of developing countries. Information on the prevalence and factors influencing infant feeding practices is limited in Nigeria and dates back to 1996. This present study determine infant feeding pattern and its predictors among Nigerian mothers with the following objectives: to elucidate breastfeeding practices, in terms of initiation, exclusivity, and termination, and the factors influencing them; to determine the time when weaning starts, the challenges met by mothers, and the type of weaning adopted.

1.2   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of this study is to identify the socio-economic factors that influence the practice or non-practice of exclusive breastfeeding among women. Specific objective are to:

1.  Examine patterns of exclusive breastfeeding in Agbado-Ijaiye Community.

2.  Identify the relationship between the age of mother and attitude to breastfeeding.

3.  Investigate the influence of the level of education of mothers on their breastfeeding practice.

4.  Explore the impact of number of birth of mothers on their attitude to breastfeeding.

5.  investigate the influence of spacing in birth rate as it affects the practice of exclusive breastfeeding.

6.  view the level of literacy of nursing mothers as how it can affect the exclusive breastfeeding practice.

7.  examine the government policies as to exclusive breastfeeding practices among mothers.

8.  examine the economic state of the nation as how it affect the practice of exclusive breastfeeding.

9.  Explore the impact of work engagement of mothers to practice of exclusive breastfeeding.

1.3   STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

Some women do not actually believe in the positive effects of exclusive breastfeeding and this informs the continued feeding of their Babies with other supplements like Pap and ready-made baby food. The concern of Doctors, Health Officials and Organizations are ultimately on the decline in breastfeeding practice itself. The interest in this topic is not only medical, there are social and regional difference in breastfeeding which reflect the trend towards what is regarded as normal and acceptable in different social settings. Definitely, some socio-economic and cultural factors influence the extent and duration of breastfeeding. Considering the importance of duration of breastfeeding it is imperative to identify factors, which can influence it, and that is what this is meant to achieve. The commonest reasons for not breastfeeding exclusively include insufficient breast milk and the socio-cultural practice of giving water to babies because of the hot climate. Also, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the adequacy of breast milk especially where the baby cries indicating inconvenience mostly assumed by the mother to be hungry. Many of the nutrition-related di eases can be reduced in our society if mothers will fully subscribe to e idea of exclusive breastfeeding.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This study would strive to answer the following research questions.

1.  What is the pattern of exclusive breastfeeding in Agbado-Ijaiye area of Lagos State?

2.  Is there any relationship between mothers? Age nd their attitude to breastfeeding?

3.  Does the level of mother education influence breastfeeding attitude?

4.  Do cultures impact on breastfeeding practice?

5.  Does births rate has any influence on breastfeeding practice?

6.  What are the effect of working mother on exclusive Breastfeeding?

7.  Can exclusive breastfeeding increase the immunity of the infant?

8.  Does the level of household income affect the practice of exclusive breastfeeding?

9.  Can the government policies affect the exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers?

10.  Does the economic state of a nation affect the practice of

exclusive breastfeeding?

11.  Is method of delivery influential in exclusive breastfeeding practice among nursing mothers?.

1.5   STATEMENT OF HYPOTIIESIS

Hypothesis is a theoretical conceptualization, subject to validation or verification. These hypotheses were based on the practices of exclusive breastfeeding among the Nursing Mothers in Agbado-Ijaiye Community of Lagos State.

Hypothesis I

Ho:  The Nursing Mothers in Agbado-Ijaiye Community does not practice exclusive breastfeeding.

Hi:  The Nursing Mothers in Agbado-Ijaiye Community practices exclusive breastfeeding.

Hypothesis II

Ho:  The level of education does not affect the practices 0 breastfeeding among the Nursing Mothers in Agbado-Ijaiye Community.

Hi:  The level of education affects the practices of exclusive breastfeeding among the Nursing Mothers in Agbado-Ijaiye Community.

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

Breastfeeding is associated with a lower incidence of infant diarrhea and respiratory disease, particularly in less developed co tries. An ecological study on breastfeeding showed that more than half of all infant deaths from diarrheal disease and acute respiratory infection are preventable by exclusive breastfeeding in infants aged -3 months and partial breastfeeding throughout the remainder of infancy (WHO, 1996). The theoretical basis for this may be a combination of the nutritional and immunomodulatory effects of human milk. The significance of this research work lies in the fact that it would contribute to existing literature on the subject matter by providing anexpository analysis of the pattern of breastfeeding in Agbado-Ijaiye Community in Nigeria and identify the socio-economic factors that influence it. This would enhance policy formulation in the primary health care in the area of improving the practice of exclusive breast feeding among women.

1.7   SCOPE/LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The work is limited to the importance of exclusive breastfeeding among women and its benefits in improving child health and mother's well-being Data collection will be limited to facts gotten from the research instruments administered on the study population i.e. Agbado-Ijaiya Community. But there may be co information gathering because literature on breastfeed subject/topic are not easily available and assessable. Only a new pages in a wide range of books contain information on exclusive breastfeeding therefore, extensive use of a wide range of source including the United Nation data on breastfeeding or issues related to it and other available literature will be ensured. Available literature will be exhausted to get varying views on the study area.

1.8   JUSTIFICATION FOR THE STUDY

The practice or non-practice of exclusive breastfeeding de ends to a large on the socio-cultural beliefs in a society. A lot of w men will not just breastfeeding exclusively- because they feel that breast milk is not adequate to feed their babies. Whereas, breast milk is the only 'baby food' that contains adequate nutritional contents necessary for growing babies. Without it, babies are exposed to sever diseases and defects which can only be prevented naturally through breastfeeding. Supplements to breast milk like pap and ready-made baby food tend to complicate the growing up process of babies since it exposes them to different diseases and risks during growth. Because there are various reasons why people do no practice exclusive breastfeeding, and because of the problem associated with non-practice of exclusive breastfeeding, it becomes necessary to carryout research on the study area. The study is being conducted to help address these issues.

1.9   DEFINATION OF TERMS

BREASTFEEDING: Is the practice of feeding an infant, or sometimes a toddler or a young child, with milk produced from her mammary glands, usually directly from the nipples.

EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING: Is generally feeding a baby with nothing but breast milk.

FERTILITY: Is the state of being able to produce.

LACTATION: Is the period during which a woman produces milk from the breasts to feed a baby.

MALNUTRITION: Is a poor condition of health caused by a lack of food or a lack of the right type of food.

MAMMAL GLANDS: Are the parts of the breast th t produce milk.

PREDOMINANT OR MIXED BREASTFEEDING: Is the practice of feeding breast milk along with some form of substitute.

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