ATTITUDE OF MOTHERS TOWARDS BREASTFEEDING (A CASE STUDY OF BADAGRY LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Human breast milk refers to the milk produced by a human mother to feed her baby. It provides the primary source of nutrition for newborns before they can eat and digest other foods; older infants and toddlers may continue to be breastfed.
The baby nursing from its mother is the most ordinary way of obtaining breast milk, but the milk can be pumped and then fed by the baby bottle (CUI) and or spoon, supplementation drip system, and nasogastric tube.
Breast milk can be supplied by a woman other than the baby’s mother, either via donated pumped milk (for example, from a milk bank) or when a woman nurses a child other than her own at her breast; this is known as wet nursing.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with solids gradually being introduced around this age when signs of readiness are shown. Supplemented breastfeeding is recommended until at least age two, as long as the mother and child wish.
Breastfeeding continues to offer health benefits into and after l3reastcecding also provides health benefits for the mother. It assists the uterus in returning to its prepartum bleeding and assisting the mother in returning to her pre-pregnancy weight.
Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant directly from female human breasts. (That is, via lactation) rather than from a baby bottle or other container.
Breast milk: Not all the properties of breast milk are understood, but its nutrient is relatively stable. Breast milk is made from nutrients in the mother’s bloodstream and body stores. Breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein needed for a baby’s growth and development. Because Breastfeeding uses an average of 500 calories a day, it helps the mother loses weight after giving birth.
Breast milk has generally been referred to as pure, the best and ideal food for infants’ healthy growth and development. Breastfeeding is the natural way of feeding an infant. It has a unique biological and emotional influence on the health of both the mother and child.
According to Chigbon (1999), breast milk is delicious, easy to digest and meets all the nutritional needs of developing infants. It is a food that costs nothing and is readily available, a food that is a wonder drug that both guards against sickness and treats disease. Though industrial scientists did not develop it, it is the food from breastfeeding.
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) states that breast milk alone is the best possible food and drink for babies in the first six to twelve months of life, and after that, Breast milk contains all the proteins, growth stimulants, fats, carbohydrates, enzyme, vitamins and traces Of elements that are vital to a healthy infant growth during the first few months of life.
Breast milk is the best food for newborn babies, but it is also the only food they need. The World Health Organization (WHO) reaffirmed in May 1998 that during the first four to six months of life, no food or liquid other than breast milk, not even water, is required to meet the normal infant’s nutritional requirement. Breast or breast milk contains enough water to quench a baby’s. Thirst even in hot climates.
In contrast, milk straight from the breast can not spoil and cannot become over diluted.
Breastfeeding saves lives because mother’s milk contains antibodies that protect the infant against disease. Even when diarrhea or other infectious diseases occur, they are usually less severe and easier to treat among breastfed infants. Research also suggests that babies fed on breast milk seem less prone to dental diseases, cancer, diabetes and allergies. And because it requires vigorous sucking action, breastfeeding may promote the proper development of facial bones and muscles in the infant. The baby Friendly Hospital
The initiative is a program where mothers are supported to breastfeed their infants exclusively, or it creates an environment that supports women in their desire to breastfeed their babies for C months and above or say up to 12 months and above, followed by a combination of both breast milk and solid food. And the BFHI also implement a policy that safeguards the breastfeeding relationship.
Ten steps to successful breastfeeding (from the special role of maternity services, a joint WHO/UNICEF statement, (2005).
Breastfeeding does not only benefit the baby; it benefits the mother as well. Research has shown that baby’s sucking the breast stimulates the release of the hormone called oxytocin, which helps milk release and flow and causes contractions of the uterus. When the uterus contracts promptly after delivery, prolonged bleeding is less. Breastfeeding also delays the return of ovulation and menstruation; This tends to delay the next pregnancy, which means a healthier mother and baby. Another big plus for women is that Breastfeeding lowers the risk of ovaries and breastfeeding cancer. Some experts say that the risk of breast cancer for a woman who breastfeeds her infants is half what it would be if she did not. Breastfeeding can help forge an important bond between mother and child and may contribute to the child’s emotional and social development.
In developing countries, the replacement of breastfeeding with bottle feeding often leads to an increased incidence of diarrhea, malnutrition and death. Any milk other than breast milk has no anti-infective properties to protect infants in the early months. The main route of younger children’s infection is virus transmission from HIV mothers during pregnancy delivery or breastfeeding.
It envisages a large scale information campaign among target groups, pre-test and post-test counselling, pregnant women testing voluntarily, provision of free medications for preventing anti-retroviral ‘therapy, special medical assistance method during delivery providing free milk formulae for infants born from’ HIV infected mothers and introduction early HIV infection diagnostics.
(Dr. Michael Merson, Director-General of WHO Global Program on AIDS). According to a report published in (The New England Journal of Medicine) although the chance that the infants may be infected is as high as 50 per cent, the risk of infant death from the use of contaminated water in making infant formula is much higher, arid they die more of that than children infected with HIV from mothers.
Why do most women embrace bottle feeding rather than breastfeeding with all these problems and more? The government in some developing countries is not helping issues in places like Britain; the government provides more financial support to pool mothers who want to go on exclusive breastfeeding.
These are some of the questions that the researcher intends to find out and analyze in the attitude of mothers towards breastfeeding practices.
The field of study is the Badagry Local government area of Lagos State; the towns involved are Badagry, Olorunda, Mowo, Ibiye, llogbo, Argun Kame, Magbon, Tokpo, Aradagun, Oko ago, Kota,
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
With regards to the problems associated with improper attitudes of mothers in Badagry local government area toward breastfeeding, in most cases result in malnutrition, Working Mothers: They do not have time to practice exclusive Breastfeeding the bonds between mothers and their infants, it is, therefore, necessary for a survey to be carried out that would examine the breastfeeding practices of mothers within parts of Badagry Area.
Superstitious belief: Due to the prevalence of superstitious belief of breastfeeding customs and socio-economic ignorance, they believe that breastfeeding their infants for some number of months or years, their breasts will sag; this is held in abeyance as a result of superstitious belief.
They have no daycare centre nearby; these mothers find it difficult to breastfeed their infants exclusively.
The problem of exclusive breastfeeding varied from one place to another or from one person to another.
Given the importance of breastfeeding, this study will investigate what can be done to encourage exclusive breastfeeding, where possible, and how the full benefits of an alternative feeding system can be derived.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is:-
- To determine the number of mothers who practised exclusive feeding in Mowo.
- To identify factors militating against exclusive breastfeeding.
- To find out the age at which the mothers give complimentary food to their children.
- To find out the health benefit of children that are exclusively breastfed.
- To determine the major kinds of complementary foods given to the children in the area under study.
- To evaluate the type of health care given to the children through their mothers’ disposition to regular visits to the primary health centres in Mowo.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study intends to:-
- Contribute to the pioneering works on exclusive breastfeeding practices in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State.
- Preferred solution on how exclusive breastfeeding can be enhanced.
- Educate women on the importance of breastfeeding.
- Encourage mothers to practice exclusive breastfeeding.
- Make recommendations to the health ministry on policies that promote good breastfeeding practices in the Badagry local government area of Lagos state.
The study, in the end, will find out whether infants are properly fed with the right feeding pattern and what to do to correct any abnormality. It will enable the researcher to find out and be provided with useful information about the attitude of women towards breastfeeding practices in this area. It will also highlight the danger inherent in mothers’ different attitudes toward feeding their infants.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study only covers breastfeeding practices by women in Badagry Local Government Area Lagos State.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
The researcher encounters many constraints during this study.
Transportation is a hindrance as most of these communities are not reached by vehicle, coupled with the high price of okada riders.
Communication problem is another factor that hinders the researcher, as most respondents are illiterate and cannot communicate as supposed, so the help of a translator was needed for effective communication.
DEFINITION OF TERM
BREAST: part of the body, either the two-round soft parts of the body in front of a woman’s body that produces milk when she has a baby, or it is the similar smaller on a men’s which does not produce milk.
BREAST MILK: this is the natural way of giving human milk to the infant.
FRIENDLY: behaving well to like or want to help them. Making you feel relaxed as though they are among friends.
HOSPITAL: a large building where sick or injured people are looked after and receive medical treatment.
INITIATIVE: a new plan for dealing with a particular problem or achieving a particular purpose.
MOTHER: a female parent of a child or animal, PERCEPTION: the way you regard something, and you believe about what it is like, the way that you notice things with the senses, the natural ability to understand or notice something
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