Determinants of exclusive breastfeeding practices among mothers of infants attending Uasin Gishu County Hospital, Kenya
Background: Exclusive breastfeeding (ebf) for six months is a key child survival intervention that prevents 13% of all under-five deaths annually. Ebf protects infants against infections such as respiratory infections, diarrhea and reduces the risk of the mother developing obesity, breast and ovarian cancer among others. Despite various efforts to promote ebf, the rate in Kenya is still low.
Objective: The main objective of this study was to determine the socioeconomic factors affecting exclusive breastfeeding among mothers of infants aged between 7-12 months attending Uasin Gishu County Hospital in Kenya.
Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study design was used since potential related factors was measured at a specific point in time for a defined opulation.
Results: Majority of participants (57%) were aged 26 – 35 years followed by 16 – 25 years at 35% and above 35 years at 8.1%. More than half of the mothers had attended college (54.9%) followed by secondary (37.5%) and primary (7.6%). There was a fair distribution in terms of occupation where a number of them indicated that they are businesswomen (43%) followed by housewife (34.1%), office work (20.3%) and farming (11.5%). Almost half of the households indicated that they had an average monthly income of above Ksh. 10,000 (49%) followed by an income between Ksh. 5,001 – Ksh. 10,000 (34.6%).
Conclusion: Age of mother and that of the index child, academic qualification of the mother, the occupation of the mother and the average monthly household income had significant effect on ebf.