Knowledge of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding among lactating young mothers in Enugu Urban, Nigeria
This study focused on knowledge of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding among young lactating mothers in Enugu urban, Nigeria. Four hospitals the young mothers used for their antenatal/ postnatal care were used for the study. They were Poly General Hosiptal, Asata, Enugu, New Haven Health Centre, Enugu, Balm of Gilead Hosiptal Achara Lay-out, Enugu and the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. The population of the study was made up of all the lactating young mothers who visited the hospitals with their infants for service. However, for data collection purpose, 80 copies of the questionnaire (20 copies to each hospital) were randomly shared among the young mothers in not less than two visits to each of the hospitals by the researchers. Sixty copies (70%) of the questionnaire were properly completed and returned. Data collected were analyzed using percentage, frequencies and mean scores. Mean scores of 2.5 and above represented positive responses to the question items.The study has shown that 53(88.3%) of the respondents had knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding, while 7(11.6%) of them did not have it. Majority of the young mothers were within the ages of 26-35 years old and most of them 42(70%) had tertiary education. Many of them 23(38.3%) were civil servants, followed by traders 19(13.6%). 55(91.3%) of the young mothers got information on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding from their hospitals and during antenatal/post-natal care. 28(46.6%) others got the information from their friends. The importance of exclusive breastfeeding had the following mean scores: Best food for infants 3.7; Baby looks healthy 3.3; Baby receives immunity against disease 3.0; strong bond between mother and child 3.0; it saves money 2.9; delays re-occurrence of menstruation 2.5, and fights against breast cancer 2.5. Uploading exclusive breastfeeding had the following mean scores: mother should feed on balanced diet (3.6); drink water adequately (3.4); and should be available 24 hours (2.7). Problems included maternal poor feeding (3.4); nature of mother’s work (3.4); state of health (3.2) and maternal education (2.6).
Keywords: knowledge, Importance, Exclusive breastfeeding, Lactation, Young mothers
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