Determinants Of Breastfeeding Practices Among Women With Children Aged 6 - 12 Months Attending Well-Baby Clinic at Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Kenya

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Mount Kenya University
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There are several advantages for women, families, and communities when breast milk is the only source of nourishment for new-borns. Among mothers with infants between the ages of 6 and 12 months, the study's goal was to discover what influences their decision to breastfeed. The study's goal was to identify the variables affecting breastfeeding among mothers of children between the ages of 6 and 12 months who visited the Well-Baby clinic at Nairobi Women's Hospital. The specific objectives of the study were as follows; To establish the influence of maternal knowledge on breastfeeding practices among mothers attending Nairobi Women's Hospital's Well-Baby Clinic with children aged 6 to 12 months, to establish the influence of socio-demographic characteristics on breastfeeding practices among these mothers, and to evaluate the impact of cultural factors on breastfeeding practices among these mothers. Self-care theory of Dorothea Orem was applied in the study. 206 volunteers in all were needed for the study. The study used a cross-sectional survey design with 206 moms who visited the Well-Baby Clinic at the Nairobi Women's Hospital. 82.6 percent of infants were exclusively breastfed at 6 months, while 17.4 percent received a mix of foods. Significant Chi squared results (p 0.05) were found for maternal age (X2 = 10.78), education level (X2 = 11.42), employment (X2 = 14.23), and family income (X2 = 12.03). In logistic regression, it was discovered that age above 30 (AOR = 1.89; 95 percent CI [1.12, 4.02]) and tertiary education level (AOR = 2.02; 95 percent CI [1.06, 2.06]) were both favourable predictors of exclusive breastfeeding. Optimal breastfeeding practices are influenced by socio-demographic factors, maternal awareness, and information access. Nairobi private hospitals need to boost knowledge and access to information for nursing mothers who frequent well-baby clinics in order to encourage exclusive breastfeeding. To avoid stigmatizing mothers who breastfeed, the Ministry of Health should support and encourage community-based initiatives that engage religious leaders. The study concluded that; socioeconomic characteristics of mothers such as age, level of education, occupation and household income are determinants of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers attending Well-Baby Clinic of Nairobi Women’s Hospital. The following recommendations were made that there is need to involve private hospitals in national breastfeeding campaigns so as to share some of the lessons learned in promotion of exclusive breastfeeding.