Infant Feeding Practice and Maternal Factors Influencing Exclusive Breast Feeding: A Cross-sectional Study in Warrap State, South Sudan
Infant and young child feeding is critical for children's health
and survival in South Sudan. No association between maternal demographic information,
feeding practice, and Exclusive
Breast Feeding (EBF) was hypothesized. A 3-month descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted
to investigate into infant feeding practice, prevalence, and the effect of maternal demographic features
on EBF in rural areas of Warrap State, South Sudan. 420 breastfeeding mothers were administered structured
questionnaires. Odd Ratio (OR), Confidence Interval (CI) and P value < 0.005
were used. The results showed that the mean age of breastfeeding mothers was 26.6
years. They were unemployed housewives with little or no education, delivering at
home with good antenatal care. Neonates were breastfed immediately
after birth and provided with colostrum (OR = 0.48, CI = (0.11-1.45). Supplementary feeding
was mainly cow milk and was introduced six months ago, with Malaria as common during
EBF. Knowledge of breastfeeding practice was adequate, and most women lived as single
families with shared compounds and were well supported by other family members with
the best economic independence practice. The provision of colostrum and prior knowledge
on EBF were significantly associated with breastfeeding practice (P< 0.005)
which was reflected on the prevalence of 89.04%. In conclusion, this study
shows that the infant feeding practice of breastfeeding women with family support
has removed barriers to EBF. Further research is needed to improve EBF practice
and identify other significant maternal factors influencing EBF in rural communities
for the sustainable development of children's health in South Sudan.
Keywords: Children Health, Exclusive Breastfeeding, Rural Communities,
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