Knowledge and Practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Mothers Seen at the University of PortHarcourt Teaching Hospital
American Journal of Health Research
Volume 6, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages: 32-36
Received: Sep. 29, 2017; Accepted: Oct. 31, 2017; Published: Mar. 15, 2018
Views 1623      Downloads 78
Yaguo Ide Lucy Eberechukwu, Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Uchenwa-Onyenegecha Tochi Ada, Department of Paediatrics, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Article Tools
Follow on us
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is a natural, cost effective and feasible intervention that promotes child survival. Exclusive breastfeeding has been promoted severally but its practice has remained poor in Nigeria. This study aims to determine the knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers who bring their children to the department of Paediatrics University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital. This was a descriptive cross-sectional hospital based study carried out from January 2012 to December 2013. A total of three hundred mothers presenting with their children for treatment at the Department of Paediatrics outpatient clinics, emergency and children medical wards were consecutively recruited into the study. Data on demographics, marital status, socioeconomic characteristics, knowledge and practice of breastfeeding were obtained using a structured self-administered questionnaire. The respondents were aged between 18 and 55years with a mean age of 31.59+6.6years. Most of the women were between 26-35years, majority (39%) were aged 25-30years and majority(89.3%) were married. Thirteen percent had no formal education while majority (63.8%) had tertiary education. Ninety eight percent of the respondents had heard about EBF. Knowledge of the correct meaning of EBF was 91.3% while awareness of the benefits of EBF was 69.3%. Thirty five (11.7%) practiced EBF for the first 6months. More than half (57.7%) of the respondents initiated breastfeeding within 1hour of delivery while 24.7% did so after 1hour but within 24hours of delivery. One hundred and twenty seven (42.3%) of the mothers had given prelacteal feeds to their babies. Of those who gave prelacteal feeds, 8.6% gave plain water, 6.3% glucose water, and 0.3% infant formula and herbs. In conclusion, the practice of exclusive breastfeeding in this study is very low and therefore there is an urgent need to scale up programmes that will promote exclusive breastfeeding in our region.
Knowledge, Practice, Exclusive Breastfeeding, Mothers
To cite this article
Yaguo Ide Lucy Eberechukwu, Uchenwa-Onyenegecha Tochi Ada, Knowledge and Practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Mothers Seen at the University of PortHarcourt Teaching Hospital, American Journal of Health Research. Vol. 6, No. 1, 2018, pp. 32-36. doi: 10.11648/j.ajhr.20180601.15
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
World Health Organization: United Nations Children’sFund: Global strategy for infant and young child feeding. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2003.
Krammer MS, Kakuma R. The optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding: a systematic review. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2004; 554: 63-77.
Oche MO, Umar AS, Ahmed H. Knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding in Kware, Nigeria. Afr Health Sci. 2011;11(3):518-523.
World Health Organisation Part1 Definitions. Indications for defining infant and young child feeding practices: Conclusions of a concensus meeting held 6-8 November 2007 in Washington DC USA. Available from
Perez A, Labbok M, Keenan JJ. Clinical studies of the lactation amenorrhoeic method for family planning. Lancet 1992; 339: 968-970.
Mullany LC, Katz J, Li YM, Khatry S K, Leclerq SC, Darmstadt GL ,Tielsch JM: Breast-feeding patterns, time to initiation, and mortality risk among newborns in southern Nepal. J Nutr 2008,138: 599-603.
Singh K: The effect of colostrums on infant mortality: urban rural differentials. Health and Population 1992, 15:94-100.
World Health Organization Collaborative Study Team on the role of breastfeeding on the prevention of infant mortality. Effect of breastfeeding on infant and child mortality due to infectious diseases in less developed countries: a pooled analysis. Lancet 2000: 355:451-455.
Jones G, Skeketee RW, Black RE, Bhutta ZA, Morris SS. Bellagio child survival study group; Child survival II. How many child deaths can we prevent this year Lancet 2003; 362: 65-71.
United Nations Children’s Fund; UNICEF and the Global Strategy on infant and Young Child Feeding (GSIYCF). Understanding the past-planning the future. UNICEF working paper. Available from:
Anoshirike CO, Ejeogo CP, Nwosu OIC, Maduforo AN, Nnoka Kingsley O. Infant feeding practices among mothers and their infants attending maternal and child health in Enugu, Nigeria. J Biol Agric Healthc 2014; 4:130-139.
Illyasu Z, Kabir M, Abubakar IS, Galadanci NA. Current knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in Gwale LGA of Kano State. Nig Med Pract 2005; 48(2): 50-55.
Okafor IP, Olatona FA, Olufemi OA. Breastfeeding practices of mothers of young children in Lagos, Nigeria. Niger J Paed 2014; 41:43-47.
Essien NC, Samson-Akpan PE, Ndebbio TJ, John ME. Mother’s knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices concerning exclusive breastfeeding in Calabar, Nigeria. Afr J Nurs Midwifery. 2009; 11:65-75.
Pam IC, Okolo SN. Breastfeeding practices among the Fulanis in Vom, Plateau State of Nigeria. Highland Medical Journal 2012; 11:81-86.
National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and ICF Macro. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2008. Abuja, Nigeria: National Population Commission and ICF Macro. 2009.
National Population Commission (Nigeria) and ICF International. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2013. Rockville, Maryland, USA. National Population Commission and ICF International. 2014.
Ukaegbu AU, Ukaegbu PO, Onyeonoro UU, Ubajaka CF. Determinants of breastfeeding among mothers in Anambra State, Nigeria. South Afr J Child Health 2011; 5:112-116.
Maduforo AN, Ubah NC, Ubiakor-Okeke PN. The practice of exclusive breastfeeding by lactating women in Owerri Metropolis, Imo State, Nigeria. Glo Adv Res J Med Med Sci. 2013; 2(1):13-19.
Sholeye OO, Adosede OA, Salako AA. Exclusive breastfeeding and its associated factors among mothers in Sagamu South west Nigeria. J Health Sci 2015; 5:25-31.
Oche MO, Umar AS. Breastfeeding practices of mothers in a rural community of Sokoto, Nigeria. Niger Postgrad Med J. 2008; 15:101-104.
Chandrashekhar TS, Joshi HS, Shankar PR, Binu VS, Rana MS. Breastfeeding initiation and determinants of Exclusive breastfeeding- a questionnaire survey in an urban population of Western Nepal. Public Health Nutr 2007; 10:192-197.
Edmond KM, Zandoh C, Quigley MA, Amenga-Etego S, Owusu-Agyei S, Kirkwood BR: Delayed breastfeeding initiation increases risk of neonatal mortality. Pediatrics 2006,117:e380-e386.
Ibadin OM, Ofili NA, Monday P, Nwajei CJ. Prelacteal feeding practices among lactating mothers in Benin City, Nigeria. Niger J Paed 2013; 40:139-144.
Ahmed FU, Rahman ME, Alam MS. Prelacteal feeding: influencing factors and relation to establishment of lactation. Bangledesh Med Res Counc Bull 1996; 22:60-64.
Akuse RM, Obinya EA. Why healthcare workers give prelacteal feeds. Eur J Clin Nutr 2002; 56:729-734.
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186