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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 75-80

A cross-sectional study of determinants of exclusive breastfeeding among working mothers in Enugu

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria; Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nsukka, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chidinma Ifechi Onwuka
Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nsukka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jwas.jwas_102_22

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Introduction: The practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) has remained low despite its benefits. This is worsened when the woman has to combine breastfeeding with work in order to support her family. Objective: The objective was to determine the factors influencing EBF among working mothers in Enugu, South-eastern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a questionnaire-based study of 315 nursing mothers in postpartum period, attending the immunisation centres of the Institute of Child Health of both University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital and Enugu State University Teaching Hospital. The information obtained was analysed using SPSS version 22. A P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Although 82.5% (n = 260) of the respondents were aware of EBF recommendation, only 69% (n = 217) practised EBF. A majority of the mothers (87%) initiated breastfeeding within 1 h of delivery. Ninety-nine percent of the mothers did not have workplace facilities (such as breastfeeding rooms, nursery, refrigerator, and privacy) that support breastfeeding practice. The main reasons for not practising EBF were pressure of work (40.8%, n = 40/98) and medical conditions (32.7%, n = 32/98). Low parity (P = 0.018) and registration for antenatal care in the hospital (P = 0.009) were significantly associated with EBF. Conclusion: The prevalence of EBF among working mothers in Enugu South-Eastern Nigeria is still suboptimal; thus there is a need for policy change in order to remove or mitigate associated factors. A multi-institutional national survey on the determinants of EBF among working mothers across the six geopolitical zones of the country may be necessary.

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