Assessment of Optimal Breastfeeding among Working and Stay-at-Home Mothers in Bahir Dar Town Amhara Regional State, North West of Ethiopia

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Addis Abeba University


Background: Optimal breastfeeding practice is essential for the healthy growth and development of children during their early life. It improves the nutritional status and reduces the chances of contracting infection. Studies have shown that globally 70.0% of infants are sub-optimally breastfed, which is major contributor to infant mortality. Objectives: This study is aimed at assessing and comparing mother's knowledge, practices and determinants on optimal breastfeeding among working and stay-at-home mother's having children 0-23 months of age. Methods: A cross-sectional community based study was conducted on 825 mothers aged 17-49 years having children 0-23 months of age residing in Bahir Dar town Amhara Region April, 2010. Modified EPI cluster sampling technique was applied to select households. Experienced interviewers and qualified supervisors were employed and a pre-tested questionnaire was utilized for this purpose. Four FGDs among mothers (segregated by working status) complemented the quantitative survey Results: Three hundred seventy one (92.2%) working and two hundred seventy six (65.4%) stay-at-home mothers had satisfactory knowledge on breastfeeding practice, [AOR: 3.36, (1.94, 5.81)]. Mothers with formal education, those attended ANC follow up and gave birth at health institution were more likely to have satisfactory knowledge on breastfeeding practices [OR: 2.25, 95%CI :( 1.14, 4.43), (OR: 6.14, 95%CI: (3.18, 11.85) and (OR: 1.85, 95%CI :( 1.05, 3.26)] respectively compared to their counterparts. The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding practice was 34%, 95%CI:(31%-37%) for working and 71.3%, 95%CI : (68.2%-74.4%) for stay-at-home mothers and the working status of the mother was significantly associated with exclusive breastfeeding practice, that those mothers who were working were less likely to practice exclusive breastfeeding than those who were stay-at-home[AdjusteOR:0.30,95%CI:(0.20,0.46)]. the median duration of EBF for working children was 4 months and 6 months for stay-at-home . Conclusions and Recommendations: Overall the study indicates that the maternal knowledge on breastfeeding practice was satisfactory. However, there is inadequacy of optimal breastfeeding practice especially exclusive breastfeeding for the first six month of life among working compared to stay-at-home mother. This would increase the risk of infant morbidity and mortality. VII Approximately three in four working and one in three stay at home initiated complementary feeding at appropriate time. The findings indicate that both groups of mothers don't have optimal child feeding practices, although the forms of suboptimal behavior are different. Therefore, the government, health workers and community members should work on strengthening the optimal breastfeeding practice by encouraging, supporting mother's to breastfed their children optimally.



Assessment of Optimal Breastfeeding among Working