Knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding among women with children aged between 9 and 12 months in Al-Sabah Children Hospital, Juba, South Sudan
Introduction: Breastfeeding is an important tool for preventing childhood illnesses, and obesity, and hypertension later on in life, and it reduces the cost of food for the family and the country. Appropriate practices that support exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months reduce childhood morbidity and mortality.
Methodology: 384 mothers with children aged 9 to 12 months attending the immunization and paediatric outpatient clinics were interviewed. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for data handling. Descriptive statistics and univariate logistic regression were used to analyse the data.
Results: The majority of mothers were aged between 21 – 25 years (43.5%), had 2 - 4 children (55.5%) and primary education (48.2%). Most mothers had started breastfeeding within the first hour of delivery (76.8%), and knew that breastfeeding was nutritious to the baby. Parity and mother`s level of education were significant factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding (p<0.05). There was no statistically significant association between occupation, age of the mother, mode of delivery and exclusive breastfeeding (p>0.05). There was no statistical difference in rate of exclusive breastfeeding in mothers attending the OPD and the immunization clinic (p value=0.09).
Conclusion: Most mothers knew the benefits and definitions of exclusive breastfeeding. The early measures supporting breastfeeding are well practiced. Parity and mothers` education significantly affected exclusive breastfeeding.
Keys words: Exclusive breast feeding, child, nutrition