Determinants of breast feeding practices in Usigu division of Bondo district.
Nyakuri, Mary M
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This study examined the determinants of breast feeding practices in Usigu Division of Bondo District. It was designed to investigate whether the age of the mother and the use of contraceptives influenced the way children are breast-fed. The study also investigated the extent to which the gender of the child and mothers' perceptions of the importance of breast-feeding affects the way children are breast-fed. The study, which was done between the periods of January and March 1999, enlisted a total of 100 respondents. In order to have a comprehensive study, North Yimbo was selected as the base for the study. Data were collected by means of structured interviews, focus group discussions, key informants and life histories. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive methods and presentation was in the form of frequencies and percentages. The study adopted the theory of real-life choice. The study came to the conclusion that first, young mothers tend to introduce supplements earlier than older mothers and therefore mothers' age had an effect on breast-feeding practices. Second, contraceptive use was not mentioned to have an effect on breast¬feeding duration. Third, the child's gender had significant effects on breast-feeding and, fourth, mothers' perceptions of breast-feeding have a considerable effect on how children are breast-fed. The study, thus, recommends that any nutrition programme should target young mothers, who need to know that the amount of breast-milk produced depends on how frequently and intensively they breast feed their babies. It also recommends that mothers need to be informed on the appropriate methods of child spacing, and the effects these may have on breast-milk. Finally, the success of nutrition programmes will largely depend on their acceptability and relevance to women as social actors.
CitationMaster of Arts
University of NairobiInstitute of African Studies