Beliefs Related to Expectant Father’s Support for Exclusive Breastfeeding in Nigeria

Motunrayo F. Olanrewaju, Saratu O. Ajike


Fathers are an essential element in the social context of breastfeeding. This study identified salient beliefs about expectant fathers’ support for 6 months Exclusive Breastfeeding. A purposive sample of 39 expectant men aged 33.67 ± 7.02 years resident in Ikenne LGA Nigeria participated. An open-ended theory of planned behaviour based questionnaire was used to collect data. Thematic content analysis followed by a frequency count was used to identify the modal salient beliefs. The salient beliefs were 30: twelve behavioral, 12 normative, and 6 control. Behavioural modal beliefs were that support of 6 months exclusive breastfeeding would motivate a brainy (56%), strong (41%) and generally healthy child (38%). Normative modal beliefs were that grandmothers (26%), family (26%) and health workers approve, while friends (21%) disapprove. Control modal beliefs were time (21%) and nature of work (21%). Beliefs influencing expectant fathers support are similar to those influencing mothers breastfeeding decisions. These can be used in the development of father-focused breastfeeding promotion interventions.

Keywords: Beliefs, breastfeeding support, breastfeeding promotion, exclusive breastfeeding, fathers Nigeria

DOI: 10.7176/JCSD/56-05

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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