Assessment of Mothers’ Attitudes to Children Care and its Effect on Breast Feeding in Nutrition Units of Shinkafi Local Government Zamfara State Nigeria

Jafaru Yahaya, Sirajo Muhammad, Musa Ibrahim


Breastfeeding has been the natural and normal means of feeding infants. Breastfeeding is universally acknowledged as providing health benefits for mothers and infants, decreasing infant mortality and morbidity particularly in developing countries, but also in more affluent societies. The research was retrospective cross sectional survey that assessed the mothers’ attitude to children care and its effect on breast feeding. Simple random sampling was used in selecting four out of six nutrition units. Consecutive sampling was applied in selecting the sample of the research, and the data were collected in three month period. A twenty two items structured questionnaire was used in obtaining information from the respondents. Descriptive statistic was presented in percentage using tables and chi-square statistical tool was used in answering the research hypotheses using SPSS version 20 at 95% confidence interval (CI). The result shows that 58.4% were not practicing exclusive breast feeding and 50.4% of their children had not received due immunizations. Majority of the respondents (47.4%) stopped breast feeding due to child sickness and 31.4% said was due to assumed lack of breast milk. Hypotheses testing show that attitudes to children’s feeding have no effect on children’s illness, and attitude to mothers’ illness has effect on children’s illness. It is concluded that there is need for more effort in improving the mothers’ attitude toward the proper care of children. Mothers need to be educated on exclusive breast feeding and immunization to children. Mothers should be informed that sucking of breast by the child greatly help in production and draining of milk; and lack of sucking could cause the milk production to cease. There is need for teaching mothers on how to prevent children from being affected with the mothers’ illnesses. As most of the mothers in the area are not attending ANC, it is useful to apply house to house campaign to create awareness and pass information on the advantages of proper child breast feeding and disadvantages of suboptimal breast feeding.

Keywords: assessment, breast feeding, children care, effect, mothers’ attitude, Nigeria, nutrition units

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