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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 140-143

Breastfeeding and weaning practices among Nigerian women

1 Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University Kano, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Yenagoa, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. I Aliyu
Department of Paediatrics, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University Kano, Kano
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/9783-1230.157054

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Background: Infant feeding is an important determinant of child well-being. The practice of exclusive breastfeeding over the years is declining despite efforts at all levels to improve it; and with globalization there is concern of possible drift in the traditional weaning practices among Nigerian women. This study, therefore, seeks to determine the breastfeeding and weaning patterns among mothers attending two health facilities in the northern and southern parts of Nigerian. Materials and Methods: This was prospective cross-sectional study involving mothers seen in Paediatrics Outpatient and Child Immunization Clinics. This study involved two hospitals in northern and southern Nigeria respectively. Results: Two hundred breastfeeding mothers were recruited into this study. 75% of the mothers were in 25-40 years group and the majority of them (40.0%) commenced breastfeeding after 60 min of delivery. 83% of the mothers were aware of exclusive breastfeeding, but only 40.5% practiced it; their main reasons were that: Breastfeeding was not enough for the growth and development of the child (26.1%) and that breast-milk did not contain enough water; however most mothers' breasts fed for >12 months. About 44.5% of the mothers introduced complementary feeds between 4 and 6 months, and most complimentary meals (53.5%) were maize-based. 61½% of the mothers abruptly stopped breastfeeding, and the practice of separating the child from the home during weaning was reported in only 16% of the mothers. Conclusion: Exclusive breastfeeding is still unacceptably low among Nigerian women despite an increased level of awareness.

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