Essay Example on Breast feeding remains the best option for Infants

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1 0 The Background to the Study Exclusive breastfeeding can be defined as the act or practice of feeding the baby solely on breast milk for the first six months of life without water glucose drinks or other drinks beside breast milk this is followed by the introduction of supplementary feeds along with continuous breast milk up to the second year of life WHO 2011 Breastfeeding has been reported as an age old practice among human societies that transcend the boundaries of time and place It was also in the course of several centuries significantly practiced respected and the primary attractor of many artistic works such as paintings and drawings Sellen 2009 It should be noted that naturally scientifically and physically breast milk provides the required nutrition for the baby to grow and protects infants against some childhood killer diseases such as gastrointestinal infection pneumonia and otitis media It also enhances the reproductive health of the mother proper child spacing rapid return of a mother to her pre pregnancy weight and aids in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes WHO 2011 Breast feeding remains the best option for infants in the first six months of life It is a natural convenient hygienic and cost effective method that promotes the optimal well being and survival of infants Oche Umar and Ahmed 2011 Breast milk contains antibodies and essential nutrients necessary for the promotion of health and adequate development of infants and young children Hajeeboy Nguyen Mannava and Mia 2014 Over the last couple of decades there have been an increasing interest


in the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding as the best feeding method for newborns this to a large extent has been inspired by scientific evidence on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in reducing infant morbidity and mortality Therefore the world health organization WHO recommends that mothers should exclusively breastfeed the child for the first six months to achieve optimal growth development and health Thereafter the child should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond WHO 2011 Despite the numerous benefits of breast milk and WHO s recommendations on breastfeeding some mothers find it difficult to practice exclusive breastfeeding due to factors such as breast related problems a mother s perception of producing inadequate milk Cherop Keverange Ettyang Mbagaya 2009 societal barriers like employment length of maternity leave inadequate breastfeeding knowledge lack of family support and encouragement from health care professionals Thurman Allen 2009 Globally only 45 of infants less than six months of age are exclusively breastfed despite the documented benefits of breastfeeding United Nation Children Education Fund 2016 According to a study conducted by the United States Centre for Disease Control CDC the published result in the journal of pediatrics as at 2016 shows that only one in 200 British women 0 5 still engages in breastfeeding a year after becoming a mother The figure is 23 in Germany and 27 in the United States Recent analysis by CaiWardlaw Brown 2010 on the global prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding across 140 countries reported an increase in the developing world from 33 in 1995 to 39 in 2010 among infants aged 0 5months Increase in West and Central Africa was more than twofold that is from 12 in1995 to 28 in 2010 There have also been considerable improvements from 35 in 1995 to 47 in 2010 among countries in Eastern and Southern African countries whereas those in South Asia witnessed a modest surge from 40 in 1995 to 45 in 2010 According to UNICEF only 15 1 of babies less than 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed between 2008 and 2012 in Nigeria UNICEF 2013 The Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey 2013 however reported a slightly high prevalence 17 for exclusive breastfeeding rate for the first 6 months of life


This is poor and below the world average of over 35 Many researchers have worked on exclusive breastfeeding in Nigeria recent attention has not been given to assessing exclusive breastfeeding practice in Edo State Although the rate of Exclusive Breast Feeding for the past two decades has been increasing it is certainly clear nevertheless that the road to the World Health Organization target of 90 coverage of exclusive breastfeeding in 2025 remains a demanding task WHO 2013 This clarion call for exclusive breastfeeding is to be answered by all mothers in our contemporary society where women are actively involved in paid jobs that have strict laws and codes of conduct which may not enable them have adequate time to practice exclusive breastfeeding In this study the researchers set out to assess the breastfeeding knowledge and practices as well as the factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding among women of reproductive age in Egor Local Government Council Secretariat of Edo State in order to give recommendations that would help improve the rate of exclusive breastfeeding and also prevent infant mortality and morbidity in Nigeria


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