Factors Associated with the Implementation of the WHO Breastfeeding Recommendations in Momo Division, North-West Region of Cameroon

Main Article Content

Nwachan Mirabelle Boh
Ejoh Aba Richard

Abstract

Breastfeeding is essential to break the spiteful cycle of malnutrition in children. In spite of the WHO recommendations on optimum breastfeeding practices and their extensively acknowledged benefits, adherence to these recommendations in Cameroon remains incredibly low. The aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with the implementation of the WHO breastfeeding recommendations among mothers whose children are aged 0 to 24 months in Momo Division, Cameroon. To achieve this goal, 540 mothers attending 22 health units in the 5 sub divisions of Momo division completed structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Through this questionnaire, information on their socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, their knowledge and cultural beliefs about breastfeeding practices and the characteristics of their babies were collected. Results show that 51.5% of babies were girls and 46.1% of mothers had secondary education as their highest level of education. The monthly household income of most (80%) of the mothers was less than 100000frs CFA. Factors found to influence pre-lacteal feeding were mode of delivery, mother’s attitude on the type of first food to be given to the baby and birth order. Breastfeeding initiation within one hour following delivery was associated with place of delivery and mode of delivery. Exclusive breastfeeding was influenced by breast problems, mother’s employment status and misconceptions. The only factor associated with frequency of breastfeeding was the infant’s age. Duration of breastfeeding was associated with birth weight, and maternal knowledge on recommended duration of breastfeeding. The main impairments to breastfeeding practices were mistaken ideas based on misinformation, inadequate or no maternity leave, caesarian method of delivery, delayed breast milk secretion, breast problems and non-satiation of the baby after breastfeeding. The misconceptions noticed amongst mothers in this Division was the belief that breast milk alone is not enough to meet the nutritional needs of the baby for up to six months, expressed breast milk should not be fed to the baby and that infants below 6 months need water to quench their thirst. Maternal knowledge on breastfeeding was good as many knew the importance of breast milk.  

Keywords:
Breastfeeding, associated factors, WHO recommendations, Momo Division.

Article Details

How to Cite
Boh, N. M., & Richard, E. A. (2019). Factors Associated with the Implementation of the WHO Breastfeeding Recommendations in Momo Division, North-West Region of Cameroon. European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 11(3), 114-123. https://doi.org/10.9734/ejnfs/2019/v11i330149
Section
Original Research Article

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