Factors Affecting Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Post-Natal Mothers in Kinondoni Municipality, Dar es Salaam
Statistical estimates from UNICEF show that about 11.6% of the deaths of 6.9 million children who are under-five in developing countries could be prevented through good breastfeeding practices, especially exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mothers to breastfeed their children one hour after delivery and EBF to continue up to six months for a healthy growth and development of their babies. Despite its advantages breastfeeding is not practised very much in many countries; Tanzania not being an exception. This study was intended to assess mothers’ perception towards EBF, complementary food given to children and factors that affect breastfeeding. The study was descriptive and cross sectional, employing quantitative measures. Data was collected from 100 post-natal mothers at Sinza district hospital and analysed using SPSS version 19. Results show that most mothers (92%) were knowledgeable on the advantages of breastfeeding. Soft foods were mentioned to be given to babies during the initiation of complementary feeding. The study revealed that the factors that affect exclusive breastfeeding include: anxiety of breastfeeding in public; being busy with household chores when the baby is crying; and sickness of the mother. Further research is needed on the nutritional contents of the food given to babies, to determine whether it fulfils their requirements. Moreover, there is room for improvement of the institutional policies and cultural practices that impede breastfeeding through legislation.
Exclusive Breastfeeding, Post-Natal Mothers
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