Infant Feeding and Care Practices of Mothers in Igbesa and its Environs, Ogun State, Nigeria.
AbstractObjectives: The study examined the practice of exclusive breastfeeding and its duration; complementary feeding and care practices of the mothers. Subjects and Methods: Two hundred nursing mothers were randomly selected from the ten communities that make up the area under study. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed using frequency count and percentages. Results: Findings showed that 63% of the mothers' breastfed their children exclusively and the duration of exclusive breastfeeding ranged from between 3-6months with majority of the respondents (75.4%) breastfeeding for 3months. “Ogi”, corn gruel was the most popular complementary food given (60.5%). Majority (84.5%) of the respondents introduced Complementary foods at between 3-4months, while forcefeeding of the infants was rampant (78%). Self-medication and the use of herb teas (agbo) to treat ailments was also a common practice by the mothers (45.5%; 25% respectively). Conclusion: The absence of the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for six months and adequate complementary feeding as recommended by WHO/UNICEF raises serious nutrition and health concern for child survival in the area understudy. The study advocates the need for Nutrition and Extension Education for mothers on the importance of adequate feeding and care practice for infants. Keywords: Exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, infants, care practice
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