Factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among mothers with children aged six months and below attending Baringo County Refferal Hospital, Kabarnet, Kenya
Background: Breast milk is the safest and most natural food for an infant and provides complete nutritional needs up to six months of age. It is important for growth and reduces infant morbidity and mortality. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces malnutrition and other health problems.
Objective: To determine factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among mothers with children aged six months and below.
Design: A cross sectional study.
Setting: Baringo County Referral Hospital, Kabarnet, Kenya.
Subjects: Three hundred and thirty mothers with children aged six months and below attending Baringo County Referral Hospital, Kabarnet, Kenya.
Results: The results showed that 95.8% of the mothers breastfed their babies with 2.2% being exclusively breastfed. Delay in onset of breastfeeding, early complementation, use of pre-lacteal feeds was still practiced. Logistic regression showed that mode of delivery and place of delivery are significant with P ≤ 0.05. Mothers who delivered in hospital were 0.018 more likely to breastfeed exclusively while mothers who delivered normally were four times more likely to breastfeed exclusively.
Conclusion: This study could help mothers, Ministry of Health and other nongovernmental organisations working with child health programmes, in likely interventions and supporting the ongoing child survival programmes, by taking appropriate steps in enhancing exclusive breastfeeding. As mothers attend antenatal and post- natal clinics, they should be given bronchures that are simple, clear to understand and addressing concerns on cultural beliefs, negative attitudes and breastfeeding problems and possible solutions. All infants should be breastfed within an hour of birth, on demand and up to the first six months of age.