SOCIO-CULTURAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING PRACTICE AMONG NURSING MOTHERS IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
This study examined the socio-cultural factors associated with EBF practices in Enugu state. A cross-sectional survey of 1,734 nursing mothers who were breastfeeding their infants as at the time of the study was conducted in eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Enugu State. Multi-stage sampling procedure was employed in selecting the above sample size for this study. The major instrument for data collection was a uniform set of structured questionnaire administered by trained research assistants. This was supported by data from focus group discussion (FGD) conducted with the nursing mothers who did not participate in the questionnaire administration, grandmothers/mothers-in-law, and data from in-depth interviews with the husbands, health workers, women leaders and traditional/community leaders. Data were analyzed using frequencies and percentages, chi square and logistic regressions. Qualitative data were analyzed with Atlas TI. The study established the prevalence of EBF practice in Enugu State. The level of awareness of EBF in the state was very high (96.2%). There were positive attitudes towards EBF practice in the state, butthe level of EBF practice was relatively low in the state. The result also showed that all the socio-cultural factors studied were affecting EBF practice in their different ranking order. Example, influence of TBAs ranked highest (91%); followed by poor nutrition in family menu (82%); campaign/marketing of artificial feed (78.3%), unfavourable conditions in the work place (66.8%); belief that lack of water can kill a baby (64.6%) and influence of grandmothers/mothers in-law (64.2%). The result further revealed that younger mothers adopt EBF practice more than older ones which implies that age has significant impact on EBF practice. Other independent variables impacted on EBF include education p<.035; number of children p<.005. Location has no significant impact p>123 on EBF practice in Enugu state. The findings were equally supported by the qualitative data. The qualitative data revealed that majority of mothers practice mixed feeding in the name of EBF practice. It is suggested that more efforts are needed in giving proper and adequate education and skilled counseling on EBF practice and socio-cultural factors associated with the practice.
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