Infant Feeding Practices Among Mothers and Their Infants Attending Maternal And Child Health In Enugu, Nigeria.

Anoshirike C. O., Ejeogo C. P., Nwosu O. I. C, Maduforo A.N, Nnoka Kingsley O.


Inappropriate feeding of infants has long been observed in our society and it is one of the global problems responsible for about one-third of the cases of malnutrition world wide. The study assessed the Infant feeding Practices among mothers and their infants attending Maternal and child health in Enugu, Nigeria. Samples of 410 infants (0-12 months) and mother pair, were randomly selected from these hospitals: Institute of Child Health University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Poly Clinic Asata, Christ Specialist Hospital Ogui and ESUT Teaching Hospital (Parklane) all in Enugu State of Nigeria. These four hospitals were purposefully selected because of their involvement in maternal and child health. Information  on infant feeding practices, demographic data, socio-economic data, were obtained from the mothers with a structured and pre-tested questionnaire. The data obtained were analyzed with the use of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16 to percentages, frequences and reprensented in a descriptive statistic in tables and charts. Results showed that most (43%) mothers were within the age of 26–30 years, 92.2% were married, 41% had secondary education, 45.1% were civil servants, 36.8% earned a monthly salary of less than ?10,000 per month. Majority (97.5%) of the infants were Breastfed, 53% initiated breastfeeding within one hour after birth, 65.3% breastfed on-demand, 62.2% of the infants were exclusive breastfed, only 34.5% were breastfed exclusively for a duration of 5–6 months, 38.8% of mothers practiced prelacteal feeding on their infants, 44% were fed on breastmilk substitute, 72.4% were fed on complementary food, 48.3% initiate complementary feeding at the age of 5 to 6 months, 70% were fed on Pap (Akamu, Ogi) as a complementary food. This study depicted high prevalence of inapropriate infant feeding practices among mothers despite all the nutrition education and promotion of optimal breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding practices in our maternal and child care institute.

Key Word: Infant, Breastfeeding, Exclusive breastfeeding, Complementary Feeding.

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