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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 14, No. 4, 2014, pp. 9039-9054
Bioline Code: nd14042
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 14, No. 4, 2014, pp. 9039-9054

Ogunba, B.O. & Agwo, E.O.


The recommendation by the World Health Organization (WHO) is that infants should be fed exclusively on breast milk for the first 6 months, but the rate of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) has been on the decline in Nigeria. The study determines knowledge, attitude and intending practice of unmarried female undergraduates about breastfeeding (BF). Two hundred females were selected using the simple random sampling procedure. Interview schedule was used to obtain information on socio-economic characteristics, knowledge, attitude and intending practices of EBF of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife, Nigeria. Knowledge and attitudes on BF were determined using a three and five point Likert Scale, respectively. Data was described using percentages, frequency counts and regression. Sixty percent of the respondents were between the ages of 21 and 24years and more than half are four hundred level students (54.5%). Knowledge on the term EBF is misconstrued as BF for 12 months by 33% of the respondents. Women intend to initiate BF between the first 0-6 hour of birth (65%) and breast feed on request (62.5%). However, 61% may not practice EBF because of their jobs, will introduce infant formula or water during the first six months and 38.3% will not breast feed in public. Women intend to terminate BF at 3 months (5.0%), 6 months (16.5%), 1 year (50.5%) and 2 years (28.0%) because of their health status (54.0%). Knowledge about BF was average (94%) and attitude was neutral (77.4%).Women intend to manage EBF during working hours by having fixed feeding schedules (14.0%) and using expressed breast milk (16.0%). About 34.5% of respondents will not use expressed breast milk because of fear of contamination (42.0%) and their health (36.3%), 6.0% expressed the opinion that EBF is not possible. Major influence on BF decisions includes maternal health (59.7%), maternal jobs (54.4%), husbands (34.5%), mother (24.8%), and mothers in law (17.5%). Regression analysis revealed that knowledge (b=-0.025) has a negative significant relationship with duration of EBF of mothers at p <0.05. It is concluded that women lacked understanding of the BF recommendations, duration of EBF, have average knowledge and neutral attitude towards EBF. It is recommended that child health matters should be taught not only in the medical schools, but special courses should be offered to increase knowledge on appropriate recommendations on BF practices for all students.

undergraduate; attitude; knowledge; practice; breastfeeding

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