Factors Militating Against Exclusive Breastfeeding among Lactating Mothers in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Ghana (Published)
Breastfeeding is a universal cultural practice among human species of all races. Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development and protects the infant against infections and chronic diseases. The purpose of this study was to evaluate factors militating against exclusive breastfeeding among lactating mothers in Sekondi-Takoradi. The specific objectives of the research were to find out the understanding of lactating mothers on the meaning of exclusive breastfeeding, assess the practice of exclusive breastfeeding by lactating mothers and to also determine the factors that militate against the practice of exclusive breastfeeding by lactating mothers in Sekondi-Takoradi. Descriptive survey method was employed to describe and document aspects of exclusive breastfeeding practices. The target population for this study was lactating mothers from three hospitals in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis with a sample size of one hundred and fifty. Questionnaire was used to collect data from respondents. Data was edited, coded and analyzed with the help of statistical package for service solution. The study revealed that 98% of the lactating mothers had heard about exclusive breastfeeding and 93% indicated they had knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding. Responses also showed husband/family support as more militating factor against exclusive breastfeeding than marital status. The study therefore recommends that husbands and family members should be involved in the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding so that mothers are helped to adhere to exclusive breastfeeding since they are decision makers and offer support in most households.
Keywords: Exclusive Breastfeeding, Lactating Mothers, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis