Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding

Questionnaires were used to elicit information relating to the study. The data collected were analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS),version seventeen. It was found that 92% of the women were aware of exclusive breastfeeding, while 5% were ignorant. 46% the women practiced exclusive breastfeeding while 54% of them practiced mixed feeding. Among those that did not practice exclusive breastfeeding 19% could not because of the nature of their job, 6% did not for fear of weight gain, 6% did not because of the misconception that exclusively breastfed babies hardly accept other foods after six months while 1% did not for economic reasons, pressure from relatives and the belief that the breast milk was insufficient for the baby, respectively. It is recommended that working class mothers should be taught the ideal duration of exclusive breastfeeding and its benefits. A combination of knowledge of proper breast milk extraction, preservation and the establishment of a standard crèche in all places of work is recommended.Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding Among Working Class Women In Owerri Municipal Essay

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Certification i

Dedication ii

Acknowledgement iii

Abstract iv

Table of contents v

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction 1

Background of study 1-5
Statement of problem 5-6
Objective of study 6
Significance of study 6-7
Scope of the study 7-8
Limitation of study 8
Definition of terms 8-10
CHAPTER TWO

Literature review 11

Exclusive breast feeding 11-13
Exclusive breast feeding practices 13-16
Benefits of breast feeding: best for the baby 16-19
Maternal benefits: best for the mother 20-22
Benefits of breast feeding to the community 23-24
and nation

Promotion of exclusive breast feeding 24-26
Why exclusive breast feeding should be promoted 26-27
Challenges/problems of exclusive breast feeding 27-30
Knowledge/attitude and the practice of exclusive 30-31
breast feeding

Nutritional value of breast milk 31-33
Advantages of exclusive breast feeding over infant 34-35
formula

Dangers of bottle feeding. 35-37
CHAPTER THREE

Research methodology 38

Materials and methods 38
Sampling techniques 39
Sample size/population 39
Data collection 39
Data analysis 39
CHAPTER FOUR

Results and discussion 40-41
Economic status of husbands 42
Practice of breastfeeding 43-44
Level of awareness on exclusive breast feeding and 45-48
practice of exclusive breast feeding Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding Among Working Class Women In Owerri Municipal Essay

Mothers attitude towards exclusive breastfeeding 48-53
Benefits and success of exclusive breast feeding 54-56
Challenges/problems facing exclusive breast 56-57
feeding practices

Association between mothers social economic 57-60
status and practice of exclusive breastfeeding

CHAPTER FIVE

Discussions 61-63

Conclusion 64

Recommendation Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding Among Working Class Women In Owerri Municipal Essay

The importance of breastfeeding practices for a healthy growth and development of infants and young children have been presented in numerous policy documents [1–2]. Breastfeeding practices are categorized into two broad aspects; exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding [3]. For each of these aspects, guidelines are stipulated as to how to appropriately practice each of them to yield maximum outcomes for the good health of children. For instance, mothers are encouraged to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first six months of their lives. It is worth mentioning that breastfeeding is much more than giving infants and young children breast milk. Breastfeeding is a complex adaptive process that bonds a mother and her child. During this process, physical, biochemical, hormonal, and psychological exchanges occur to facilitate the transfer of needed essential nutrients between the mother and her child [4]. After six months of exclusive breastfeeding, breastfeeding should still continue with added complementary foods as recommended by World Health Organization [5].

The introduction of complementary foods is necessary since after the sixth month, breast milk alone is no longer enough to meet the nutritional requirements of infants [5]. At this stage, it is a transitional period when infants are introduced gradually to family foods. Also, it is recommended that the feeding process should start with other milks and non-milk liquids; and as the children grow older, then other semi-solid or soft foods could be given to them [6]. Mothers in their quest to feed their children, as recommended, are sometimes confronted with both personal and external challenges [7].Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding Among Working Class Women In Owerri Municipal Essay

Research indicates that mothers are sometimes negatively influenced by significant others as to how to practice breastfeeding [7]. Other challenges documented include the belief that breast milk alone is not sufficient in meeting nutritional needs of infants; short maternity leave period; and socio-cultural pressure to introduce water and artificial feeds [8–9]. Again, breastfeeding mothers who return to work often feel exhausted–since they feed-on-demand and attend to family and employment responsibilities–leading to concerns for their personal health [10]. Also, Nankumbi and Muliira [11] observed that challenges in relation to appropriate infant and young child-feeding practices are mothers’ knowledge about complimentary feeding, influence of culture custodians on mothers, and patterns and burden of other responsibilities the mothers have in the household.

For mothers to practice appropriate complementary feeding, they need to have suitable and enough foods, and ensure that there is diversity in the diets they give to their children. However, in many resource poor contexts, foods that are available are predominantly cereal-based with low nutrient density and poor mineral bioavailability, posing substantial low nutrient consumption for breastfeeding mothers and their children [12]. Even in some environments, commercial fortified foods are often beyond the reach of financially-challenged-mothers; therefore, homemade complementary foods remain commonly used [13]. These homemade foods are mostly unfortified or unenriched plant-based complementary foods hence providing insufficient key micronutrients especially among children aged 6–23 months [14].

To promote infants and young children feeding issues, the Ministry of Health (in Ghana), has implemented a number of related policies including the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, the National Child Health Policy and the National Nutrition Policy. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative was adopted and implemented in qualified health facilities in the country to promote breastfeeding initiation and improvements of exclusive breastfeeding among neonates and infants less than six months respectively [15]. The National Child Policy was equally implemented to promote the survival, growth and development of all children [16]. Also, the National Nutrition Policy, as contained in one of its measures, was to promote optimal nutrition among infants and young children in the areas of appropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices [17]. All these policies, as part of their purposes, were intended to guide stakeholders in the country to effectively and properly ensure the healthy growth and development of infants and young children. Notwithstanding the well-articulated aims of the of the aforementioned policies, infants and young children feeding practices are still low in Ghana [18].Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding Among Working Class Women In Owerri Municipal Essay

Prior studies have documented the determinants, predictors, or risk factors of breastfeeding practices [19–21]; primarily skewed towards the positivist paradigm. This suggests that there is paucity of literature on exploring challenges mothers encounter in their quest to practice exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding. We, therefore, sought to explore views of mothers on challenges of breastfeeding practices in the areas of exclusive breastfeeding, and complementary feeding, drawing on an interpretivist approach. The study primarily focused on mother-child dyads. Findings from this study would highlight issues that impede the practice of these feeding practices among mother-child dyads. Salient views from the mothers might pin-point to how to improve infants and young children feeding practices in Ghana.

Theoretical concepts of the study
This study hinges on Bourdieu’s habitus and dispositions concepts. These concepts are used to explains that “food and eating is much more than a process of bodily nourishment: it is an elaborate performance of gender, social class and identity” [22]. The concept habitus denotes social structures and history of individuals that interrelate to define perceptions and actions in relation to their social environment [23]. Also, the concept of dispositions depicts preferences. That is, the behavioural tendencies that a person exhibits due to cultural beliefs passed on to the next generation through unconscious memories of attitudes and practices [24].

Conceptually, the concepts of habitus and dispositions were used to understand challenges mothers encounter in relation to breastfeeding practices (exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding). Social structures may pose challenges for mothers in their attempt to comply with breastfeeding practices. The roles played by mothers at homes in the Ghanaian context are mostly stressful and sometimes time consuming [25]. In such situations, appropriately adopting exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding regimens may be hindered and hence influence their perceptions and actions. For instance, the type of the complementary food a mother gives to her child may be informed by how she perceives ‘food’; whether food is for the nourishment of her child or for satisfaction. How society defines food may challenge her intention of complementarily feeding her child. Again, the inability of a mother to provide adequate and appropriate foods for her child is partly determined by what a mother can afford and what foods society expects her to feed her child. Hence, the definition of food by a mother is being informed by social structures (habitus) and by preferences (dispositions).Challenges Of Exclusive Breast Feeding Among Working Class Women In Owerri Municipal Essay

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