Assessment of breastfeeding knowledge and practices among working mothers in the federal capital territory Nigeria

Vivian O. Omuemu, Scott A. Adamu


Background: Inadequate infant feeding practices is a major contributor to the high burden of childhood morbidity and mortality in many countries. Female participation in the labour sector has increased and many of them return to work soon after giving birth posing a significant barrier to breastfeeding. This study assessed the knowledge and practice of breastfeeding among working mothers in the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was done among 360 working mothers selected by multistage sampling technique. Quantitative and qualitative data were collective using interviewer-administered questionnaire and key informant interview guide, respectively. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Scientific Solutions (SPSS) version 21.0 and significant level was set at p<0.05.

Results: Two hundred and seventy-six (76.7%) of the respondents had good knowledge of breast feeding. More than three-quarters (77.2%) initiated breastfeeding within one hour of birth, 201 (55.8%) practiced exclusive breastfeeding correctly and 201 (55.8%) introduced complementary foods on time. Median duration of breastfeeding was 14.6 months. Less than half of them (41.7%) had good overall practice of breastfeeding. Level of education, sector of work, knowledge of breastfeeding and availability of on-site crèche were significantly associated with practice of breastfeeding. Common barriers to breastfeeding included poor spousal support, no paid maternity leave and non-availability of nearby crèches. Most of the organizations observed had a breast feeding policy.

Conclusions: This study revealed a gap between the knowledge and practice of adequate breastfeeding among the respondents and identified some perceived barriers to optimal breastfeeding.



Breastfeeding, Complementary feeding, Knowledge, Practice, Working mothers

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