Duration of breastfeeding and associated factors among mothers attending ANC at Rakai Hospital, Rakai District

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Kampala International University, School of Allied Health Sciences
Background: Breast feeding has numerous benefits for both the mother and the child including saving lives, improving child health among others. Despite the numerous known benefits of breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding among children under six months has remained below the 50% target of the World Health Assembly. Objectives: the study was aimed at determining the duration and factors associated with breast feeding among mothers attending ANC at Rakai District Hospital. Method: The study was cross-sectional involving administration of questionnaires to 112 mothers attending ANC at Rakai District Hospital. Results: 20.5% of the participants breastfeed their babies immediately, while 33.0% breastfeed after one hour. 58.0% of the participants breastfed exclusively for six months, 18.6% breast fed for less than six months. However, among those who breastfeed generally, 25.9% breast fed for 6-12 months, and 21.4% breastfed for 1-2 years. 90.1% of the mothers who had knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding and overall general breastfeeding, of whom 73.2% had attended ANC during pregnancy. Most of the mothers who breast fed had parity of greater than seven (32.1%), and had attained primary level education (41, 1%). Conclusion: The study shows that most mothers exclusively breastfed their babies for a period of less than six months, and overall breast feeding for less than two years. In this study the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and overall breastfeeding was directly associated with parity, maternal age, education level, antenatal service and knowledge of mothers on breastfeeding.
A research report submitted to the School Of Allied Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a diploma in clinical medicine and community health of Kampala International University, Uganda
Breastfeeding, Mothers attending ANC, Rakai Hospital, Rakai District