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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
  Year: 2020 | Volume: 19 | Issue: 11,12 | Page No.: 500-506
DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2020.500.506
 
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Views and Cultural Beliefs of Mothers about Breastfeeding in a Child Welfare Clinic in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

E.E. Esienumoh , R.E. Ella and N.C. Udoakaebe

Abstract:

Background and Objective: Breastfeeding is important for the optimal nourishment, immunity and growth and development of the infant. However, some personal views and cultural factors may interfere with adequate breastfeeding and therefore, inhibit its benefits. The present study aimed to identify the views and cultural beliefs of mothers about breastfeeding in a child welfare clinic in Calabar, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional design was used in this study. Data were collected from 120 purposively selected breastfeeding mothers through questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: The mean age of mothers was 29.83 years and mean number of children was 2.77. Major views of mothers about breast feeding included that HIV-positive mothers should not practice breastfeeding (98.33%), breastfeeding causes breast sagging thus making women less attractive (91.60%) and only 48.33% had workplace support to breastfeed. All of the mothers (100%), though from different cultural backgrounds, had a common cultural belief that breast milk goes sour if mother and baby are separated for more than 1 day and consequently, breastfeeding should be discontinued. Others (42.50%) believed that breastfeeding mothers should drink plenty of palm wine or stout beer to increase milk production, some women believed that breast milk is not sufficient food for the newborn (20.83%) and only 9.17% believed that breastfed babies are unhealthy and weak. Conclusion: The views and cultural beliefs of mothers do not support optimal breastfeeding. The mothers’ views and cultural beliefs in this setting have the potential to cause infant undernutrition with negative effects on the child health, development and survival.

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How to cite this article:

E.E. Esienumoh, R.E. Ella and N.C. Udoakaebe, 2020. Views and Cultural Beliefs of Mothers about Breastfeeding in a Child Welfare Clinic in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 19: 500-506.

DOI: 10.3923/pjn.2020.500.506

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=pjn.2020.500.506

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