Nursing Project Topics

Attitude of Women of Child Bearing Age Towards Exclusive Breastfeeding in Ajaragba Nkwuboh Community in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State

Attitude of Women of Child Bearing Age Towards Exclusive Breastfeeding in Ajaragba Nkwuboh Community in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State

Attitude of Women of Child Bearing Age Towards Exclusive Breastfeeding in Ajaragba Nkwuboh Community in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State


Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to assess the attitude of women of child bearing age towards exclusive breastfeeding In Ajaragba Nkwuboh community in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Determine the perception of mothers on exclusive breastfeeding.
  2. Assess the knowledge of mothers towards exclusive breastfeeding.
  3. Identify the practice of exclusive breastfeeding by mothers.



The historical context of breastfeeding

Humans and apes (all hominoids) have had similar defining features of their reproductive physiology including lactation and breastfeeding throughout history (Kennedy, 2005); yet detailed anthropologic work on ancient breastfeeding practices and patterns has rather been scanty (Sellen, 2009), a dearth that is partly blamed on the male ˗ centred perspectives that focus primarily on male activities to the neglect of female related ones such as breastfeeding and child birth (Stuart-Macadam and  Dettwyler,1995).   Even so, however, breastfeeding has been reported as an age-old practice that has been very critical not only to the physiology, growth, and overall well-being of neonates but the physiology and health of women as well (Stuart-Macadam and Dettwyler, 1995). Indeed, scarcely does a society exist without some form of infant breastfeeding; for it is one of the practices among human societies that transcend the boundaries of time and place. The practice has been a method of feeding to which infants have not only adapted but lived on for most of human existence on earth (ibid). It was also in the course of several centuries, significantly practiced, respected, and the primary attractor of many artistic works such as paintings, drawing, and sculptures (Tonz, 2000; Sellen, 2009).

In many ancient societies, breastfeeding practices were often guided by traditions, ancient medical literatures etc. For instance, the Susruta, an ancient Indian medical text recommended that “in the six month of its birth the child should be fed on light and wholesome rice” (Fildes, 1986 p.16). Similar ancient medical texts such as the Ayur vedic stipulated the use of breast milk as the sole food for babies until the end of the first year (ibid). Besides, early religious scriptures such as the Bible and the Quran also had and still have some recommendations on breastfeeding practices. In Isaiah chapter 66 verse 11, it is mentioned ‘that ye may suck, and be satisfy with the breast of her consolations; that ye may milk out and be delighted with the abundance of her glory’ (Bible, the book of Isaiah 66:11). The Quran similarly stipulates that ‘the mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those parents who desire to complete the term of suckling and if you decide on a foster suckling-mother, there is no sin on you, provided you pay the mother what you agreed on reasonable basis’ (Quran 2:233). Indeed, until the 19th century, breastfeeding was the norm in virtually all human societies; and almost every child was breastfed regardless of sociocultural environment and economic status (Soko et al. 2007). Even when mothers were not in a position to breastfeed owing to sickness, death, other women were made to breastfeed the newborn. Over time, these women, called wet nurses became readily and widely available for breastfeeding services especially for affluent families. According to Stevens, Patrick and Pickler (2009) the emergence of wet nursing in human societies first served an ‘alternative of need’ e.g. during sickness, and later an ‘alternative of choice’ e.g. when it became commercialized.  In Europe for instance, wet nursing became a lucrative employment and had been the dominant form of infant feeding from early 15th century to mid – 18th century (Grieco and Corsini, 1991).




Research Design

A non-experimental, descriptive design was adopted. Descriptive design aims at observing, describing and documenting aspect of a situation on the phenomenon of the life situation as it normally occurs. Research Setting: The study was carried out in Infant Welfare Clinic in Secondary Health Facility in Ajaragba Nkwuboh community in Enugu East L.G.A, Enugu state, the hospital is in the capital of Enugu State. It was established in 1991. The Hospital renders medical, surgical, maternity and gynecological services, it is also a referral centre for Primary Health Care Centre and other health institutions.

Research Population

The target population of the study was one thousand two hundred (1200) mothers attending child welfare clinic in a month in General Hospital Ajaragba Nkwuboh community in Enugu East L.G.A. From Monday 16lh November, 2019 – Friday 11th December, 2019.




This study was carried out on the attitude of women of child bearing age towards exclusive breastfeeding In Ajaragba Nkwuboh community in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. Based on the research findings it can be concluded that majority of the women had high knowledge on EBF, the practice of exclusive breast feeding was highly adequate and knowledge of EBF was significantly associated with practice of EBF. This means that as level of knowledge is high, the practice of EBF is also highly adequate.

The results show very informed breastfeeding women who are committed to learning and practising exclusive breastfeeding. Nurses and breastfeeding support group meetings were the main sources of information on EBF recommendations for breastfeeding women while family relatives heard about the recommendations from them. As a result, Grandmothers, fathers, and grandfathers who are the main decision makers in the family and also constitute breastfeeding mothers’ significant others were found to possess little knowledge on breastfeeding recommendations and hence exerted little commitment to support the practice.


Based on the conclusions, the following recommendations were made based on baby friendly initiative which outlines the following ten (10) steps to successful breast feeding (WHO and UNICEF, 2009).

  1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of EBF.
  4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.
  5. Show mothers how to breast feed and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.
  6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
  7. Practice “rooming-in” allow mother and baby to remain together 24 hours a day.
  8. Encourage breast feeding on demand
  9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers to breast feeding infants.
  10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Implication for Nursing Practice

The study revealed that majority of the respondents had high level of knowledge on EBF. This therefore emphasized the need to intensified awareness creation on EBF during ANC visit. Women of child bearing age should be helped in terms of public enlightenment, social support and modeling.

The practice of EBF was highly adequate. The study suggests that counseling and proper education on desirable breastfeeding practices could be adopted to achieve a change in attitude, perceptions, knowledge and practice of EBF.

There was significant association between level of knowledge and the practice of breast feeding. Mothers should be enlightened on techniques and skills involved in practice of EBF. There should be close supervision and monitoring of mothers during breast feeding sessions to ensure that their practices and actions are carried out as expected.

Suggestion for further studies

Further studies could be carried out in the following areas:

  1. Perceptions and practice of exclusive breast feeding among mothers in Tertiary Health Institution in northern Nigeria
  2. Factors associated with the practice of exclusive breast feeding among mothers in Secondary Health facility in northern Nigeria


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