Breastfeeding Practices by Women Attending the Vaccination and Pediatric Out-Patient Clinics at The Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital, Cameroon.

Andreas Chiabi, Evelyn Mah, Fayçal Fayçal, Séraphin Nguefack, Florence Fru, Suzanne Ngo Um, Pierre-Fernand Tchokoteu, Elie Mbonda

Abstract


PURPOSE

Despite the well-known benefits of exclusive breastfeeding in sustaining infant well-being, breastfeeding rates still remain low in manycountries.We aimed at investigating the practice and determinants of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life in Cameroonian women.

METHODS

In this cross-sectional study,we interviewed a consecutive sample of 310 mothersat the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstretic and Pediatric. The study was conducted from 1st September 2011 to 29th February 2012. Variables related to the practice of breastfeeding within the first 6months of life were assessed. Odds ratio was used to determine the predictive variables of exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.

RESULTS

The reported rates of exclusive breastfeeding were 84.8% at birth and 23.5% at six months. Medical advice (49.3%) and concern for the child’s health (42.5%) were the two main reasons for practicing exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of life; while resumption of studies or work (38.4%) and the belief that the newborn was not ‘satisfied’ (34.2%) were the main reasons for introducing other foods. Most children (84.5%) did not receive any foods before the first breastfeed. Breast milk substitutes were given to 70.5% of the babies. Most women (87.1%) breastfed on demand, and breast pain was the main difficulty in 60.5% of the mothers.  Being a housewife was positively   associated with exclusive breast-feeding (OR:2.18, 95% CI: [1.25-3.81], P= 0.005).

CONCLUSION

Exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months remains low in this setting. Sensitization and education of mothers during prenatal visits and routine consultations should be reinforced.

Keywords


Exclusive breastfeeding, practices, determinants, Yaaounde, Cameroon

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References


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