Maternal and community factors influencing optimal breast feeding practice among mothers attending KIU-TH Ishaka, Uganda

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Kampala International University, School of Health Sciences
Breastfeeding is generally considered by health professionals as the ideal feeding practice for infants. Infants can absorb and digest breast milk more easily than baby formula (The Office on Women's Health, 2012). Optimal breastfeeding rates have not been encouraging in the world with sub-optimal feeding being customized in Sub-Saharan Africa The objectives of this study was determine the proportion of mothers practicing optimal breastfeeding as well as the maternal and community factors influencing optimal breastfeeding practices among lactating mothers attending KIUTH. A descriptive cross-sectional study design using quantitative and qualitative methods was used to collect data from 302 respondents. Stratified and consecutive sampling technique was used in this study. Data were analyzed using SPSS, descriptive, bi-variate and multivariate analyses at 95% confidence interval. Only 67 (22.19%) of the mothers initiated breastfeeding within 0-2 hours. Hence initiation as part of optimal breastfeeding practices was poor. While 127 (42.05%) of the mothers breastfed for 6 months without introducing other food substances. Majority 176 (58.28%) of the respondents did not breast feed their children up to 2 years. Age, marital status, occupation, level of education and knowledge on OBF were among maternal factors influencing optimal breastfeeding practices among lactating mothers attending KIU-TH (p< 0.05). Cultural, Religious beliefs and Peer group encouragement on initiation, exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding were among the community factors influencing optimal breastfeeding. (p < 0.05). The practice of optimal breastfeeding is low. Promotion of optimal breastfeeding practices such as information, communication, education etc. should be encouraged in all institutions where lactating mothers belong to, institutions such as workplace
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery of Kampala International University
Optimal breast feeding practice, Mothers, Kampala International University Teaching Hospital (KIUTH)