alexa Breastfeeding Practices of mothers of under five years old children in Bahir Dar City, Ethiopia: A descriptive cross sectional-community based survey.
Reproductive Medicine

Reproductive Medicine

Clinics in Mother and Child Health

Author(s): Yalew, Worku Awoke Abitew, Dereje Birhanu

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Background: Improved breastfeeding practices can help in preventing diarrheal diseases and malnutrition. In Ethiopia, children are still suffering from diarrheal diseases and malnutrition. Aims & Objective: This study was aimed at assessing mothers’ breastfeeding practices in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted by involving of 415 mothers. The study was conducted from April 15 to May 15, 2011. Three kebeles (the smallest administrative level) from Bahir Dar city were selected randomly. The sample was determined by using single population proportion formula and proportionally distributed to the selected kebeles according to population size. To be eligible to participate in the study, mothers had to live in households that had children under five years of age. Households were selected by systematic sampling method. Mothers were interviewed in their homes using a structured questionnaire that had been pre-tested. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Odds ratio was calculated with 95% confidence intervals; P-values less than 0.05 were considered as statistically significant. Results: Data were collected from 415 mothers. Breast-feeding was practiced by 400(96.4%) of all respondents. Two hundred seventy eight (69.5%) mothers reported initiating breast-feeding within one hour of delivery. One hundred thirty four (33.5%) of mothers reported feeding colostrum to their infants. The main reasons for not giving colostrum included the belief that colostrum is unclean was reported by 30 (22.4%) mothers, colostrum makes the newborn sick by 58 (43.3%) mothers and that withholding colostrum initiates breast milk production by 46 (34.3%) mothers One hundred and nine (26.3%) of mothers reported giving pre lacteal feeds to their infants. About 325 (78.3%) of mothers reported that they had heard information about exclusive breastfeeding but only 172(41.4%) had appropriate knowledge. One hundred and thirty three (38.1%) mothers substituted breast milk before the child reaching six months of age. Mothers’ educational status, Antenatal care (ANC) follow up during pregnancy, availability of television in the household and place of delivery were significantly associated with feeding colostrum to the infant (P<0.05). Conclusion: This study showed that the prevalence of ever breastfeeding was almost universal but still mothers had gaps about early initiation of breastfeeding, giving the first milk for their newborns and exclusive breastfeeding. Therefore information regarding optimal breastfeeding practices should be provided for mothers and local health extension workers. An effort should also be made to increase community awareness about the importance of optimal breastfeeding for the child growth and development.

This article was published in International Journal of Medical Science and Public Health and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health

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