Maternal Exclusive Breast- Feeding Practice In Calabar, Nigeria: Some Related Social Characteristics
AbstractObjective: To determine the social characteristic of mother who practice exclusive breast –feeding in Calabar
Subject and Methods: A prospective questionnaire based cross sectional survey of breast feeding practices among mother of children aged 0-24 months was carried out in Calabar in April 1998. Using WHO indicators for assessing breast feeding practices, the exclusive breast feeding rate was determined in mothers of children aged 0-6 months. This documents the social characteristics of those mothers who practiced exclusive breast feeding (EBF).
Result: Of 1145 mother in the study, 4456 were mothers of children aged 0-6 months. Of this 102 (22.9%) practiced EBF. The maternal characteristics associated with a high EBF rate were being married (p<0.01), attainment higher education (p<0.05%), the use of health facility based ante natal care (p=0.001) and delivery services (p<0.00000001). Other were paid employment with maternity leave (p<0.001) and being of Cross River state extraction (p<0.01). Parity did not appear to influence EBF (p>0.2)
Conclusion: This study has shown that being married, attaining higher education, being on paid maternity leave, use of government health facility based ante natal and delivery services as well as being of Cross River state extraction were maternal characteristics associated with EBF. There is need to intensity health education on the benefits and management of breast feeding in order to improve the present EBF rate of 22.9%.
KEY WORDS: Maternal Exclusive breast feeding, Social characteristics
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol.6(2) 2003: 92-94