Breastfeeding information seeking behaviour among parents in Mbeya City, Tanzania|
Mwaisela, Neema & Mwantimwa, Kelefa
Background: Majority of mothers in Tanzania fail to practice effective breastfeeding for various reasons. The objective of this study was to determine breastfeeding- related information seeking behaviour among parents in Mbeya City of Tanzania.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey design was used. Parents of infants and children aged between 0-2 years and health care workers were interviewed. Secondary data was collected by using documentary review. Information sought was related to the perceptions of parents towards the usefulness of breastfeeding and breastfeeding practices. The observation method was used to identify and verify the actual available, accessible, and usable breastfeeding information.
Results: The key findings suggest that information needs of parents and sources and channels used vary and depended on the time intended to breastfed the child. Mainly, the parents’ needs information on nutritious food, introduction of complimentary food, breast care, and care techniques for when away from babies, frequency and implications of breastfeeding. Friends, relatives, neighbours, health professional were the most commonly sources of breastfeeding information. The majority of parents perceived that access to and usage of breastfeeding information improve breastfeeding rate, decision making, increase awareness and knowledge, and breastfeeding practices.
Conclusion: Information seeking behaviour varies from one parent to another hence the varying preferences in informal and formal sources. Increasing accessibility and usability of breastfeeding information is necessary in ensuring that one of the basic human rights is safeguarded
Breastfeeding, information, seeking behaviour, Tanzania