Myths And Misconceptions About Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Pregnant Mothers Attending Antenatal Care Clinic

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Myths and Misconceptions about exclusive Breastfeeding among pregnant mothers attending antenatal care clinic of the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti

Myths And Misconceptions About Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Pregnant Mothers Attending Antenatal Care Clinic

 Introduction

Human milk is the ideal nourishment for infants’ survival, growth, and development. Particularly in unhygienic conditions, however, breast milk substitutes carry a high risk of infection and can be fatal in infants . Breast milk contains all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months of life. Exclusive breast feeding means that the infant receives only breast milk.

Exclusive breast feeding in the first six months of life stimulates babies’ immune systems and protects them from diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. Exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of life is now considered as a global public heath goal that is linked to reduction of infant morbidity and mortality, especially in the developing world.

The world health organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breast feeding (EBF) for the first six months of life while it is advised to provide adequate and safe complementary foods with breast feeding for up to two years and beyond. EBF remains uncommon in most countries (both developed and developing), even in countries with high rates of breast feeding initiation. EBF rates in infants less than six months of age varied from as low as 20% in central and eastern European countries to 44% in south Asia

In Africa, more than 95% of infants are currently breastfed, but feeding practices are often inadequate; feeding water and other liquids to breastfed infants is a widespread practice . The risk of morbidity is reduced by close to 70% when a child is exclusively breastfed. Exclusive breast feeding protected against serious morbidities in the first six months of life .

 Research conducted at Ibadan, Nigeria, revealed that prevalence of mothers’ knowledge towards EBF is still low, which accounts for about 36.2% and the same thing is true in Ethiopia, where it accounts for about 34.7%Even though many researches are done about mother’s knowledge and attitude towards exclusive breast feeding in many areas of Ethiopia, no research is done about it in and around Dabat Health Center. Due to this fact, this research is initiated and conducted, with the objective of assessing the knowledge and attitude towards exclusive breast feeding among mothers attending antenatal care and immunization clinic in Dabat Health Center, North Gondar zone, Northwest Ethiopia.