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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 101-104

Breastfeeding practices of mothers in a rural community of Sokoto, Nigeria

Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M O Oche
Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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BACKGROUND: Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants and has a unique biological and emotional influence on the health of both mother and child, hence the global effort aimed at promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to determine the prevalence and pattern of breastfeeding in a rural community of Sokoto state. STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive cross-sectional study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 260 standardized pre-tested structured questionnaires were interviewer administered based on a set of eligibility criteria. RESULTS: Out of the 260 mothers that were eligible for the study, 240 agreed to participate in the study. Only 20 (8%) of the respondents had initiated breastfeeding less than one hour after delivery, while majority, 165 (69%) did so after 24hours. Exclusive breastfeeding was highly practised in this community as 188 (78.7%) of the mothers gave only breast milk up to six months after delivery. None of the mothers breastfed for less than six months while 171 (71%) did so for 19-24 months. The relationship between educational attainment and duration of breastfeeding was not statistically significant (P>0.05). Majority of the mothers 141(76%) continued breastfeeding even when they felt their child was old enough to be weaned. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of breastfeeding was found to be high in this community; however, there is the need to promote early initiation of breastfeeding to sustain and improve on the rates.

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