Initiation, maintenance and continuation of exclusive breast feeding: Socio-demographic and maternal correlates for abandonment


  • Ogbondah BO Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Rivers State University, Nkpolu Orowoukwo, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria



Exclusive breast feeding, abandonment, initiation, maintenance, continuation


Background: Exclusive breast feeding (EBF) has been shown to be an important and effective feeding practice essential for infant development. Initiation, maintenance and continuation of EBF were associated with several maternal and socio-demographic characteristics which influence EBF abandonment.

Methodology: The study is a prospective cross-sectional study conducted at the child health clinic in general hospital Bonny, in Bonny Island. The study population were nursing mothers of infants six months and below. All eligible nursing mothers that presented to the clinic were enlisted into the study until the required sample size was achieved. Study tool was a structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Multinomial regression analysis was done using SPSS with statistical significance set at 0.05.

Result: Results reveal significant statistical association between duration of EBF and some maternal variables such as parity, ante-natal attendance, breast feeding counselling, birth interval, gestational age and mode of delivery. Also, significant association was seen between duration of EBF and socio-demographic characteristics such as maternal occupation, income, education and marital status.

Conclusion: Abandonment of EBF before and its continuation up to six months can be influenced by socio-demographic factors such as maternal occupation, income and marital status. Other maternal variables which also influence EBF include ante-natal care attendance including the number of times of breast-feeding counselling, mode of delivery, gestational age, parity and birth interval.