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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 137-142

World Health Organization’s recommendation on breastfeeding: Knowledge and practices of nursing mothers in Enugu, Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State Teaching Hospital Parklane, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adaobi I Bisi-Onyemaechi
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmh.IJMH_25_21

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Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) has made recommendations for breastfeeding. These recommendations are to promote proper breastfeeding practices, which are essential for improved child health and survival. Objectives: The study intended to determine the level of awareness of WHO breastfeeding recommendations among nursing mothers in Enugu and how awareness translates into practice. Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was used to assess the awareness of WHO recommendations on breastfeeding and breastfeeding practices of mothers in Enugu, Nigeria. Results: Most (254; 64.1%) mothers have not heard about the WHO recommendation on breastfeeding; majority (81.1%) were aware of exclusive breastfeeding. Antenatal clinics are the commonest source of information on breastfeeding. Only 2.5% mothers intend to breastfeed for the duration recommended. Awareness of WHO recommendations was not associated with decision to breastfeed or frequency of breastfeeding. Younger mothers were less likely to be aware of the recommendation (P = 0.007, OR = 0.559, 95% CI = 0.366–0.851), while antenatal care attendance was associated with increased awareness (P = 0.002, OR = 10.389, 95% CI = 2.439–44.262). Maternal education affected breastfeeding frequency only. Conclusion: Significant gaps exist in awareness of the WHO recommendations on breastfeeding among mothers in Enugu, Nigeria.

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