International Journal of Horticulture and Food Science
2021, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Part A
Influence of maternal breastfeeding practices on the anthropometric status of their infants (0-12 months) in Arochukwu L.G.A Abia State, Nigeria
Oguizu AD and Ogbonnaya TK
Background: Breast milk remains the best start to life in all areas of infants’ development. Cow milk is best for cows and human breast milk is best for human babies.
Objectives: This study assessed the influence of maternal breastfeeding practices on the anthropometric status of their infant (0-12 months) in Arochukwu L.G.A. Abia State.
Methods: A total of 250 mothers were selected using simple random sampling technique. Data on socio-economic/demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitude and practice of mothers towards exclusive breastfeeding, factors that influence maternal breastfeeding. Anthropometric measurements of weight and height were taken using standard procedures. The IBM SPSS version 20 was used to analyze the data. WHO anthro was used to compute anthropometric status of children.
Results: About 38.4% of the mothers were aged between 20-24 years. Majority of the mothers (62.5%) were married. About 73.2% of the mothers earned below ₦20, 000 monthly. About 42.4% of mothers exclusively breastfed their babies while about 33.2% of the children were initiated to breast milk within 30 mins after birth. About 42.4% of the mothers breastfed their babies for about 0-6 months before introducing complementary foods. Half of the mothers (53.6%) had a good knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding; 41.2% had poor knowledge, while a few (5.2%) had an excellent knowledge. About 33.6% of the mothers fed their babies with infant formula, while 24.8% fed their babies with breast milk after delivery. Majority (71.2%) fed their children 3-4 times daily. More than half of the infants (56.8%) were stunted, 40.4% were underweight and 15.2% wasted. The prevalence of stunting and wasting was higher in males than in females; wasting was more among 7-9 months old children.
Conclusion: The high levels of malnutrition in this study underline the great need for nutrition intervention. Exclusive breastfeeding and timely introduction of appropriate complementary feeding is a key factor in child growth.
Oguizu AD, Ogbonnaya TK. Influence of maternal breastfeeding practices on the anthropometric status of their infants (0-12 months) in Arochukwu L.G.A Abia State, Nigeria. Int J Hortic Food Sci 2021;3(1):39-45. DOI: 10.33545/26631067.2021.v3.i1a.60