Patterns and predictors of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in Ile Ife, Nigeria
Background: Exclusive Breast Feeding (EBF) is a cost effective intervention in saving under-five children’s lives in the resource poor settings. However, EBF rates have been shown to be low in these regions with variation in the duration of EBF.
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess pattern and predictors of EBF among mothers attending well infant clinic at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) Ile Ife.
Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study carried out between October and December 2014. A total of 250 eligible mothers were selected by simple random sampling among women attending well infant clinic OAUTHC, Ile Ife.A semi-structured selfadministered questionnaire was used.
Results: The prevalence of EBF in this study was 23%. The pattern of EBF seen was in the duration of EBF. About 60% gave breast milk alone to their children only in the first month of life. Only 23% was breastfed exclusively for four to five months, while 5% breastfed exclusively for at least six months. About 40% practiced mixed feeding right from the first day of life.The predictors of EBF identified include; ANC attendance, a birth interval greater than or equal to 2 years, husband's positive attitude, giving breast milk as the first feed in life, and vaginal delivery.
Conclusion: The practice of EBF within 4 to 6 months of life is still very low. Strategies that target improving access to quality ANC, and emphasize husbands’ roles in encouraging EBF should be giving priority.
Keywords: Pattern, predictors, exclusive breastfeeding
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