Online Program

Factors affecting exclusive breastfeeding practice in rural communities of Cross River State, Nigeria

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Regina E. Ella, PhD, RN, RM, FWACN, Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Antor O. Ndep, DrPH, CHES, Department of Public Health, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Margaret Akpan, RN, RM, MPH, FWACN, Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria
Background: Breastfeeding rates among rural African women steadily declined during the 1960's as more women were introduced to bottle feeding. Poverty and poor hygiene practices led to a dramatic increase in infant mortality. The introduction of exclusive breast feeding (EBF) in the 80s helped reverse the trend however, misconceptions about when to initiate EBF and for how long still persists till date.  

Objective: To determine factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding in Kakwagom and Okundi communities in Boki L.G.A of Cross River, Nigeria.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was administered to 366 mothers selected through simple random sampling.

Results:  Of the 366 respondents, 189 (51.64%) were between the ages of 31-40, while 71 (19.40%) were below 21; 303 (82.79) were married; 49 (13.38) were single. About 78.42% had secondary education, 56 (15.30%) had tertiary and only 23 (6.28%) had primary education. About 84% had good knowledge of EBF, of these 47% had this knowledge from antenatal clinics (ANC) and health workers. Chi square (x2) analysis revealed significant relationship between mothers’ knowledge and exclusive breastfeeding practices (P<0.05). Almost 83% had positive attitude towards EBF yet only 14.6% mothers exclusively breast fed their babies for up to six months. Factors that hindered exclusive breast feeding practice were job conditions (48.9%), inadequate breast milk (11.48%), sore nipple (8.74%), and stress (14.75%).

Conclusion: Social support and workplace policies promoting EBF could encourage EBF practice which could then translate to the positive health effects for both mothers and children.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss work-related factors that influence exclusive breastfeeding practice in rural Cross River State, Nigeria. Formulate potential policy position statements that could be developed to address issues identified in this research.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Community-Based Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Nurse researcher with over 20 years of experience. I have worked extensively in rural Cross River State, Nigeria on issues related to maternal and child health. I am currently a lecturer/researcher guiding and mentoring students in community-based research and policy formulation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.