The study investigated the effect of maternal employment on breastfeeding and child care practices of mothers in Southwestern Nigeria. Information was collected on maternal socio economic characteristics, care and feeding practices of 450 mothers selected by multi stage random sampling procedure from both urban and rural communities. Results revealed that 46.9% mothers spent more than 8 hours at work, 62.7% worked outside their homes and 73.1% spent about 17 – 24 hours with their children per day. Children received prelacteal feeds such as water (61.1%), concoction (34%), glucose (32%) and infant formula (54.7%). Mean number of breastfeeding per day was 9.7 ± 3.9; only 24% were exclusively breastfed, 37.3% introduced complementary foods at 6 months and 68.6% terminated breastfeeding between 13 – 18 months. Mothers that were engaged in work outside their home in offices and factories practiced exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers below 30 years of age used prelacteal feeds, did not practice exclusive breastfeeding (58.3%), terminated breastfeeding earlier and combined the use of feeding bottles, plates and cups for feeding (50.3%) when compared with mothers between 40 – 50 years. Mothers in the rural areas used water as prelacteal feeds (85.3%) mothers in urban communities used infant formula (65.4%). A significant association was found between maternal places of employment. It is strongly associated with the timing of introduction of complementary foods (p < 0.02) and the number of snack consumed/day (p < 0.03). Conclusively, maternal place of work positively influences the adoption of appropriate infant feeding practice. Working mothers should receive more support in the work place for them to practice appropriate feeding practices.
Cite this paper
Ogunba, B. (2015) Effect of Maternal Employment on Infant Feeding Practices in Southwestern Nigeria. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 6, 597-604. doi: 10.4236/fns.2015.67063.
|||Akuse, R.M. and Obinya, E.A. (2002) Why Healthcare Workers Give Prelacteal Feeds. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 56, 729-734.
|||Khanal, V., Adhikari, M., Sauer, K. and Zhao, Y. (2013) Factors Associated with the Introduction of Prelacteal Feeds in Nepal: Findings from the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2011. International Breastfeeding Journal, 8, 9.
|||Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) (2013) National Population Commission Federal Republic of Nigeria Abuja, Nigeria. NPC and ICF Macro, Maryland.|
|||Grzywacz, J.G., Tucker, J., Clinch, C.R. and Arcury, T.A. (2010) Individual and Job-Related Variation in Infant Feeding Practices among Working Mothers. American Journal of Health Behavior, 34, 186-196.
|||Dili (2008) Behavior Change Communication Strategy for Child Health. East African Journal of Public Health, 7, 258-262.|
|||WHO (2009) Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Model Chapter for Text Books for Medical Students and Allied Health Professionals. World Health Organization, Switzerland.|
|||Earle, S. (2002) Factors Affecting the Initiation of Breast-Feeding: Implications for Breast-Feeding Promotion. Health Promotion International, 17, 205-214.
|||Lawrence, N., Hand, I., Haynes, D., McVeigh, T., MaeHee, K. and Ja Yoon, J. (2003) Factors Influencing Initiation of Breastfeeding among Urban Women. American Journal of Perinatology, 20, 477-483.
|||Onyango, A.W. (2003) Dietary Diversity, Child Nutrition and Health in Contemporary African Communities. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 136, 61-69.
|||Olson, B.H., Horodynski, M.A., Brophy-Herb, H. and Iwanski, K.C. (2010) Health Professionals’ Perspectives on the Infant Feeding Practices of Low Income Mothers. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 14, 75-85.
|||Hawkins, S.S., Griffiths, L.J., Dezateux, C. and Law, C. (2007) The Impact of Maternal Employment on Breast-Feeding Duration in the UK Millenium Cohort Study. Public Health Nutrition, 10, 891-896.
|||Gibson, R. (2005) Principles of Nutritional Assessment. 2nd Edition, Oxford University Press, New York, 41-64.|
|||World Health Organization, Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group (2006) WHO Child Growth Standards: Methods and Development: Length/Height-for-Age, Weight-for-Age, Weight-for-Length, Weight-for-Height and Body Mass Index-for-Age. World Health Organization, Geneva.|
|||Lakati, A.S., Makokha, O.A., Binns, C.W. and Kombe, Y. (2010) The Effect of Pre-Lacteal Feeding on Full Breastfeeding in Nairobi, Kenya. East African Journal of Public Health, 7, 258-262.|
|||Laroia, N. and Sharma, D. (2006) The Religious and Cultural Bases for Breastfeeding Practices among the Hindus. Breastfeeding Medicine, 1, 94-98.
|||Sellen, D.W. (2001) Comparison of Infant Feeding Patterns Reported for Nonindustrial Populations with Current Re-commendations. Journal of Nutrition, 131, 2707-2715.|
|||Farhanah, S. and Naleena, D.M. (2012) The Association of Maternal Employment Status on Nutritional Status among Children in Selected Kindergartens in Selangor, Malaysia. Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 4, 53-66.
|||Brown, A., Raynor, P. and Lee, M. (2011) Healthcare Professionals’ and Mothers’ Perceptions of Factors That Influence Decisions to Breastfeed or Formula Feed Infants: A Comparative Study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67, 1993-2003.
|||Lakati, A., Binns, C. and Stevenson, M. (2002) The Effect of Work Status on Exclusive Breastfeeding in Nairobi. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health, 14, 85-90.