|dc.description.abstract||This study was undertaken to examine how selected socio-economic, cultural and
demographic factors affect breastfeeding.
The main objective was based on the fact that although family planning
programmes were introduced in Kenya over two and a half decades ago, breastfeeding
has been slowly adopted in these programmes for the benefits of the health of the infant
and to a lesser extent for its purpose as a fertility inhibitor.
The data used was obtained from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey
(KDHS) which was conducted in 1993. In this survey 7540 women were interviewed out
of which data for 1609 women who had reported breastfeeding in the closed birth
interval was utilized for the study. Crosstabulation and the multiple regression
approaches were undertaken to bring out the findings of the study.
The results of the study revealed that urbanization and mother's education are
negatively related to duration of breastfeeding while increase in age seemed to have a
positive effect on breastfeeding. (Other factors utilized in the study were ethnicity, parity
and marriage type).
Mothers who reported that the birth during the interval was alive were found to
have longer breastfeeding durations. Current contraceptive use was also found to
significantly affect breastfeeding duration, with women who were using a modern method
having longer periods compared to the other categories.
Work status (employed or not) was not significant in influencing breastfeeding
duration in the closed birth interval.
The multiple regression results showed significant relationships between age of the
mother, survival status of the child, ethnicity, current contraceptive use and education
and the duration of breastfeeding in the last closed interval.
The major conclusion derived from the above results was that proximate factors,
(survival status of child and contraceptive use), Socio-economic (education) and
Demographic factors (age) are very significant in influencing breastfeeding duration.
Strategies to promote breastfeeding including breastfeeding education
programs/campaigns, training of personnel in breastfeeding management, mass media
education and the general integration of breastfeeding programs in existing family
planning health service programs should be adopted. Further research should in addition
be undertaken to determine the current trends of breastfeeding and reasons for continuing
or discontinuing breastfeeding. Programs and policies to promote breastfeeding should
also be regularly evaluated.||en