Effectiveness Of Exclusive Breastfeeding In The Development Of Under 5 Children
This study was carried out with the aim of assessing the effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding in the development of under 5 children in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state. Simple random sampling was used to draw a sample size of two hundred and twenty (220) nursing mothers. A self-designed questionnaire was used in the data collection procedure. Data collected were analyzed using frequencies, mean and percentages. Findings revealed that exclusive breastfeeding practices was the most frequently used method by nursing mothers in breastfeeding their children. It was also discovered that socio-economic status and levels of nursing mothers’ education, was a positive determinants on the mother and child breastfeeding practices. The challenges to exclusive breastfeeding practices include non supportive work place/home environment (75.8%), time constraints (77.9%), low educational and awareness level of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding (79.1%), stress (85.1%), and cost of maintaining healthy diet for the mother (90.3%). Exclusive breastfeeding helped to stop maternal bleeding after delivery and helps to develop the emotional bond between mother and child. Exclusive breastfeeding method was discovered to promote the health of both mother and child; and to boost the immune system of the child. It was concluded that, uneducated mothers find it difficult to adapt to positive changes in breastfeeding patterns and rarely breastfed their children hygienically and adequately. Among the recommendations made was the need for health inspectors to visit rural places where nursing mothers are not educated to ensure healthy hygiene practices of exclusive breastfeeding.
Table Of Content
- Table of Content
- 1.1 Background To The Study
- 1.2 Statement Of Problem
- 1.3 Objectives Of The Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Significance Of The Study
- 1.6 Operational Definition Of Terms
2.0 Literature Review
- 2.1 Conceptual Review
- 2.2 Exclusive Breastfeeding And Development Of Infants
- 2.3 Theoretical Review
- 2.4 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Research Setting
- 3.3 Sampling Technique
- 3.4 Instruments For Data Collection
- 3.5 Method Of Data Analysis
4.0 Data Analysis And Interpretation
- 4.1 Research Questions
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
- 5.1 Discussion
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendations
1.1 Background To The Study
The relationship between a mother and her child is extremely important, especially with regard to breastfeeding habits. These have an impact on the lives of children and mothers at an early stage and cause concern for health professionals and lay people (Agostoni, 2013). Breastfeeding is, according to Bamsaye (2013), the nursing of an infant or infant with breast milk. Babies have a sucking reflex that allows them to suck and swallow milk. With some exceptions, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies. Breast milk provides all the nutrients a baby needs, as well as the substance that promotes growth and helps combat infections. The Federal Ministry of Health and the International Organization, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), promote breastfeeding as the best way to feed babies, especially in their first year of life. Breastfeeding benefits mother and child physically, emotionally and mentally. Garters (2015) suggested that the child’s early breastfeeding helps combat the onset of certain diseases and promote the child’s physical well-being and healthy development. Breast milk is, by far, the healthiest form of milk for babies.
Zu and Nkanginieme (2013) maintained the view that the main advantage of breastfeeding is that breast milk gives babies an important protection against chronic diseases like allergies and asthma and infectious diseases like meningitis, diarrhea, infections of the ear and pneumonia. The immune components of breast milk are constantly changing to satisfy babies and must be protected from new infections. As the baby’s own immunity develops, the concentration of antibodies and anti-infective agents in the milk gradually decreases. Breastfeeding facilitates the connection between mother and child, which satisfies her emotionally. The mother develops parenting behavior and the baby learns quickly. Zu and Nkanginieme (2013) found that the benefits of breastfeeding for the baby and the mother include the provision of essential nutrients and calories and is suitable for digestive capacity, absorption and excretion of babies. The children’s union and the development of appropriate psychological skills also benefit the child. It also helps with the involvement of the uterus and the reduction of postpartum morbidity, the protection against breast and ovarian cancer and the protection against early pregnancy and childbirth. Both the family and the community benefit from breastfeeding by reducing the cost of childcare, reduces the medical costs at a distance from children. Breastfeeding also provides a child-friendly, eco-friendly option without the risk of air, water or soil pollution.
Breastfeeding is performed in a variety of ways, including exclusive breastfeeding in which the child receives only breast milk when requested for four to six months without other food or drink being provided, unless medically prescribing the types of compound feed is breastfeeding a process whereby the child supplements some other substances such as water, honey, herbs, along with breast milk and other foods and drinks (IBFAN, 2014). Other breastfeeding are when the nursing mother can use a breast pump to extract milk from the chest to relieve pressure on the chest when mother and child can not be together for a session of normal power supply. Breast milk is bottled and kept in the heater to feed the babies when needed. This is an option for mothers working outside the home.
According to Behrman and Kliegman (2010), after two years breastmilk should be supplemented more and more with solid foods and other liquids. As breastfeeding is less common, the body produces less prolactin and less milk to feed the baby. Abrupt weaning should be avoided as both mother and child need time to perform biochemical and psychological adjustments (Behrman, Kliegman and Johnson, 2010). Some paediatricians recommend that babies for optional development breast-feed for at least the first and second year of life. In the first six months of life, the healthy baby needs no food or fluids other than breast milk (Behrman, Kliegman, and Johnson, 2010). Breastfeeding is the only completely safe, protective and nutritious way to give a child the best start in life (Hassan, 2016). Unfortunately, some kids do not get this better start in life. This is because many factors affect breastfeeding behavior and lead to breastfeeding. These factors include inadequate knowledge of breastfeeding and child nutrition, misunderstandings and fears of lactating women about breast milk and breastfeeding practices, lack of social support and hospital practices that discourage breastfeeding. The impact of mothering on breastfeeding is another factor. This is due to the fact that some mothers have no education and may not know how to literally breastfeed.
The opinion of breastfeeding mothers in the state of Rivers on the determinants of breastfeeding refers to their beliefs or beliefs about the effects of exclusive breastfeeding practice on the child’s development. Most mothers believe that breastfeeding has a lot to do with their socioeconomic status. They are also of the idea that breastfeeding practice depends on the maternal level of education, hence the researcher intends to carry out this study on the effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding in the development of under 5 children in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
The World Health Organization estimates that more than one million children die every year as a result of childhood illness and poor breastfeeding. The child mortality rate in Nigeria is rising. For example, reports show that in 2010 hospitals of the University of Ahmadu Bello at the birth of 956 children in teaching, 482 deaths (ABUTH Health Information Management, 2011) as a result of insufficient attention to breastfeeding practices were taken part of breastfeeding mothers. This is a representation of the trends in breastfeeding practice among breastfeeding mothers. Most mothers practice brine feeding, which often causes teething, resulting in a high rate of child mortality (Azubuike and Nkanginieme 2013). According to the above, Azubuike and Nkanginieme (2013) considers that the main advantage of exclusive breastfeeding is that breast milk gives babies hygiene or health protection against chronic diseases such as allergies and asthma, and disease infectious diseases such as meningitis and diarrhea. , Ear infections and pneumonia. Immune components of breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of babies and to protect them from infection, the immune system develops its own baby and the concentration of antibodies and anti-infection agent in milk gradually decreases.
In addition, research has shown with some nursing mothers on the interaction, most nursing mothers supplement breast milk with water, herbs (tea and honey) (Hassan, 2016). Nursing mothers believe that the practice of breastfeeding has a lot to do with socioeconomic status. They also believed that breastfeeding depended on their education. Why Bamsaye (2013) found that some breastfeeding mothers really do not believe in the benefits of breastfeeding. This continuously reported to her babies with other supplements such as water and prepared baby food. The concern of doctors, health officials and the organization is ultimately the decline in the practice itself of breastfeeding. It was based on these reasons that it became necessary to assess the effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding in the development of under 5 children in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state.
1.3 Objectives Of The Study
The general objective of this study is an assessment of the effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding in the development of under 5 children in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state. Specifically, the study seeks to;
- Identify types of breastfeeding methods practiced by nursing mothers in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state.
- Determine the mothers’ knowledge of effects of exclusive breastfeeding on under-five development in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state.
- Identify challenges that mothers face in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for under-five development in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated based on the research problem and objectives;
- What are the types of breastfeeding methods practiced by nursing mothers in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state?
- What is the level of mothers’ knowledge on effects of exclusive breastfeeding on under-five development in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state?
- What are the challenges that mothers face in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for under-five development in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
Among others, this research work will be useful to mothers and women of reproductive age as it will enlighten them on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding practice on infant development as well as the consequences of inappropriate practices. Nurses and healthcare professionals could use the findings of this study in educating nursing mothers on adopting healthy behaviours in order to reduce the risk of malnutrition, illnesses and under-development of children. Also, It is hoped that the findings of this study will be of great access for possible intervention strategies and policy formulation by health authorities and stakeholders for the benefit of the society and maternal health. Finally, information gathered from this study will serve as a source of literature and guide for future research and as well serve as empirical reference for further studies.
1.6 Operational Definition Of Terms
Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman’s breast. Exclusive breastfeeding then is the feeding of babies with only breast milk for at least the first six months.
This refers to infants and children under the age of five
5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation
The main objective of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding in the development of under 5 children in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Anambra state. In order to achieve this major objective, three research objectives were stated and analyzed using frequencies, mean, and percentages to show the respondents responses on the related items. From the result, of the analyzed data collected using questionnaires, the findings were revealed thus;
Based on specific objective one, which was to identify types of breastfeeding practiced by nursing mothers with their under-five children in MUTH, Anambra state, findings reveled that, there are two major types of breastfeeding practiced by nursing mothers in Kaduna state. This is evident in Table 4.2; where exclusive breastfeeding has the highest mean response of 2.50, as compared to mixed feeding with mean of 1.50. Therefore it can be said that nursing mothers were familiar and knowledgeable to the use of exclusive breastfeeding practices in nursing their children this is in line with, Hassan (2016) who stated that breastfeeding is the only completely safe protective and nutritious way to give a child the best start in life.
On objective two, the study also revealed the mothers’ knowledge of effects of exclusive breastfeeding on under-five development in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital in Anambra state. Details of this research question two, objective two, was shown in Table 4.3. The finding agreed with the writing of the Odimegwu (2012), who stated that when a baby receives the first milk (colostrum), which gives protection against infection, it promotes the health of both mother and child. This is revealed in item 3 with mean of 3.34, and item 5 with mean of 3.32. Brown (2016) further stated that malnourished mother can maintain growth of infants up to four and six months of age by exclusive breastfeeding, Browns‟ opinion was also revealed in item 6 with mean of 3.39.
On the third objectives (research question three),which examined the challenges that mothers face in the practice of exclusive breastfeeding for under-five development. Findings revealed that the socio economic status of nursing mothers on exclusive breastfeeding adversely affect nursing mothers breastfeeding practices. This was revealed in Table 4.4, as non supportive work place/home environment (75.8%), time constraints (77.9%), low educational and awareness level of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding (79.1%), stress (85.1%), and cost of maintaining healthy diet for the mother (90.3%).
The focus of this study was on the effectiveness of exclusive breastfeeding in the development of under 5 children in Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Anambra state. In view of the major findings, it can be concluded that, there were indeed two major common methods of breastfeeding practices by the mother with child. However, exclusive breastfeeding was found to be the most prominent and acceptable method of breastfeeding as compared to mixed feeding practices. Mothers who were exclusively breastfeeding their children, were less likely to become pregnant again during this period. Exclusive breastfeeding helped to stop maternal bleeding after delivery and helps to develop the emotional bond between mother and child. Exclusive breastfeeding method was discovered to promote the health of both mother and child; and to boost the immune system of the child. The study also revealed that the knowledge on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding among nursing mothers influence mothers attitude on exclusive breastfeeding adoption and practices.
The following recommendations were made based on the findings if the study
- Nursing mothers attending antenatal and child care services should be educated by nurses, midwives and other health care personnel on the need for practicing exclusive breastfeeding as it contains complex nutritional fluid and hormones for the child’s development, which many cannot be included in mixed feeding practices or alternative methods.
- Nursing mothers should be encouraged by childcare centres on the adjustment of breastfeeding patterns to suit their work schedule and eliminate other constraints faced during exclusive breastfeeding as it helps to reduce the risk of chronic conditions and infections associated with alternative feeding practices.
- Health agents and stakeholders should organize frequent seminars and workshops for educated mothers to create awareness and practices of exclusive breastfeeding despite their schedules and beliefs. Also, this should be extended to the community level to include family and partners’ support in the exclusive breastfeeding agenda.
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