INFANT WEANING KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES AMONG MOTHERS IN IKENNE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, OGUN STATE – Complete Project Material


ABSTRACT

Weaning
is the introduction of supplementary food to a child’s diet after the first six
months of life. Early introduction of feeds and incorrect weaning practices are
commonly found in communities around the world. This research was designed to
explore infant weaning knowledge and practices among mothers.

Descriptive
research design was adopted. The population were 260 mothers attending three
Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government. Sample size was
determined using Leslie Kish formula and simple random sampling was adopted to
select 100 mothers for the study. A designed questionnaire was used to collect
data from participants. Face and content validity of the questionnaire was
ascertained by presenting it to experts in the field. Reliability was tested
using split-half method and Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient was 0.85.
Data was processed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version
21. Two research questions were answered using descriptive statistics of mean
standard deviation. Four hypotheses were tested using inferential statistics of
Pearson correlation at 0.05 level of significance.

The study revealed that 8(8%)
of mothers had low knowledge level on infant weaning, 50(50%) had moderate
knowledge level and 42(42%) had high knowledge level. Also, 3(3%) of mothers
had high practice level on infant weaning, 66(66%) had moderate practice level
and 31(31%) had low practice level on infant weaning. There is a significant relationship
between occupation and weaning practices among mothers (r = 0.035; p = 0.004). There is
also a significant relationship between educational level and
weaning practices among mothers (r = 0.003; p = 0.000), whereas there is no significant relationship
between ethnicity and infant weaning practices among mothers (r = 0.036; p = 0.723) and there
is a significant relationship between mothers knowledge level
and infant weaning practices among mothers (r = 0.086; p = 0.001).

In conclusion, infant weaning knowledge
and practices among mothers is moderate. The study recommended that nurses
should regularly train mothers on infant weaning to improve their knowledge and
practice regarding infant weaning.

Keywords: Weaning, Mother, Knowledge, Practice,
Infants

CHAPTER ONE

                                                     INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

Weaning is the introduction of supplementary food to a child’s diet
after the first six months of life. Infant weaning with supplementary feeds of
breast milk substitutes, early introduction of complementary feeding and
incorrect weaning from breast milk are commonly found practices in communities
around the world (Inayati, Scherbaum, Purwestri, Hormann, Wirawan, Suryantan,
Hartono, Bloem, Pangaribuan, Biesalki, Hoffmann, & Bellows, 2012). The
period of weaning could involve a lot of problems and usually information gap exist
in relation to how and when weaning takes place. Adequate nutrition during
infancy and early childhood is essential for growth and development of children
(Ashmika, Deerajen, Prity & Rajesh, 2013). It has been recognized worldwide
that breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child as breastmilk is
considered the best source of nutrition for an infant (Ku & Chow, 2010).
The World Health Organization (WHO) as said by Hanif (2011 recommends that
infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months after which complementary
foods are introduced along with breastmilk for up to two years of age or
beyond. The first two years of life are critical stages for a child’s growth
and development. Any damage caused by nutritional deficiencies during this
period could lead to impaired cognitive development, compromised educational
achievement and low economic productivity (Kimani-Murage, Madise, Fotso,
Kyobutungi, Mutau, Gitau & Yatich, 2011).

Poor breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, together
with high rates of morbidity from infectious diseases are the prime proximate
causes of malnutrition in the first two years of life. Breastfeeding confers
both short-term and long-term benefits to a child. It reduces infections and
mortality among infants, improves mental and motor development, and protects
against obesity and metabolic diseases later in life (WHO, 2010). According to
Kimani-Murage et al., (2011), the WHO
recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, beginning from the
first hour of life, to meet the infant’s nutritional requirements and achieve
optimal growth, development and health. The mother is advised to continue
breastfeeding up to two years of age or more and begin nutritionally adequate,
safe, and appropriately-fed complementary foods at the age of six months in
order to meet the evolving needs of the growing infant. Since weaning is a process
by which food other than breast milk is introduced gradually into baby’s diet,
first to complement the breast milk and then to wean totally off breast milk involve
selecting light nutritious food for easy absorption. Then later replace light
nutritious food with thicker feed using hygiene practices when preparing them
but majority of nutrition problems in rural areas are due to faulty weaning
food (Shadia & Bedor, 2013).

Predictors of breastfeeding and weaning practices vary between and
within countries. Factors that influence the weaning process include infant
feeding problems such as refusal to eat, colic, diarrhoea and vomiting (Ashmika
et al., 2013). These factors
represent challenges for mothers and in turn may either directly or indirectly
influence the feeding pattern. In view of the identified factors, which are early
introduction of complementary feeding and incorrect weaning from breast milk,
the researcher would carry out a study on infant weaning knowledge and practices
among mothers in ikenne local government area, Ogun State

1.2 Statement
of the Problem

Weaning has been one of the most wrongly practiced processes in the
developmental stages of the children. It 
was observed that mothers give their infant other food apart from breast
milk right from birth while some delayed supplementary diet till above Nine
months with either cases having negative effect on the infant. WHO (Hanif,
2011) recommends a gradual weaning period from 6 months to 2 years, this allows
for the child to still receive the benefits from breastfeeding, while also
consuming the necessary nutrients from the complementary foods. But almost half
of the mothers (52%) abruptly weaned their children while only 11.6% gradually
weaned their children as complementary food is being added to the children diet
(Somiya, 2014). The time of weaning is one of the most critical aspects of
child’s life. It is the transition period at which the child whose main food used
to be milk changes over to adult food. Usually if this period of change in diet
is well-planned and progresses smoothly, there will be no setbacks, but in a
large number of children, malnutrition usuallytakes place during this period.
Ten million children under the age of 5 years old die each year (Somiya, 2014).
More than half of the deaths occur because of poor weaning that leads to
malnutrition. If adequate health systems were in place nearly two-third of the
deaths could be prevented. The most vulnerable period for developing
under-nutrition remains the transition from breastfeeding to family foods.
Malnourished children often suffer the loss of precious mental capacities. They
fall ill more often. If they survive, they may grow up with lasting mental or
physical disabilities (Dinesh & Sushilkumar, 2011).

Poor quality of weaning foods and improper weaning practices
predispose infants to malnutrition, growth retardation, infection, diseases and
high mortality (Somiya, 2014). Food is expected to be prepared adequately
containing the required nutrients as well as appropriate with a suitable
texture and temperature. Without the knowledge of proper weaning practices as
well as a perception of the child’s hunger needs, malnutrition and illness may
ensue. Thus, the weaning period is therefore a vulnerable time when the child
should be attentively cared for and observed so as to maintain health (Somiya,
2014). Therefore, information gotten on weaning will improve mother’s practice
of weaning since the mother is the most important person in a baby’s life for
both its physical as well as its psychosocial care and growth. The mother-infant
relationship is the most vital formative relationship for the child. There
arises a need to prevent wrong assumption of mothers on weaning process and
timing, there is need for sound education, effective information and sufficient
knowledge of weaning to be instilled in mothers. Nurses can be agent of
carrying out the educational needs for weaning infants in proper way.
Therefore, the need for a study on infant weaning knowledge and practices among
mothers in Ikenne Local Government Area, Ogun State.

1.3 Objective
of the Study

The main objective of this study is to explore infant weaning
knowledge and practices among mothers in Ikenne local government area, Ogun
State. The specific objectives are to:

  1. determine the knowledge
    level on infant weaning among mothers attending three Primary Healthcare
    Centres in Ikenne Local Government Area;

2.      assess the practice level on infant weaning among mothers attending
three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government Area;

3.      assess the relationship between occupation and infant
weaning practices among mothers attending
three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government Area;

4.      identify the relationship between ethnicity and infant
weaning practices among mothers attending
three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government Area;

5.      assess the relationship between educational level and
infant weaning practices among mothers attending three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government
Area and

6.      to determine the relationship between mothers
knowledge level and infant weaning practices attending three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government
Area.

1.4  Research Questions                       

The following research questions were answered:

1.     
What is
the knowledge level on infant weaning among mothers attending three Primary
Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government Area.

2.      What is the practice level on infant weaning among mothers attending
three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government Area.

1.5   Hypotheses                                         

The following hypotheses were tested at 0.05
level of significance.

HO1. There is no significant
relationship between occupation and infant weaning      

         practices among
mothers attending three Primary Healthcare Centres in
Ikenne Local

         Government Area.

HO2.There is no significant relationship between
ethnicity and infant weaning practices among

        mothers attending three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local Government
Area.

HO3.There is no significant relationship between
educational level and infant weaning practices   

         among mothers attending three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local
Government       

        Area.

HO4.There is no significant relationship between mothers
knowledge level and infant weaning

         practices attending three Primary Healthcare Centres in Ikenne Local
Government Area.

1.6 Scope
of the Study

This study covered infant weaning knowledge and
practices among mothers in Ikenne Local Government A rea, Ogun State. The study
is limited by recruitment of participants

1.7 Justification
for the Study

The study would help to establish inadequacy in infant weaning
knowledge and practice among mothers and also provide baseline data for
subsequent studies on infant weaning knowledge and practices among mothers.

This study would also help to provide recommendations for improving
inadequacies in infant weaning knowledge and practices among mothers.

The study would also assist health institutions and the government
at the federal, state and local level to plan strategies to improve infant
weaning knowledge and practices among mothers.

1.8 Operational
Definition of Terms

  1. Weaning: introduction
    of supplementary food to a child’s diet after the first six months of
    life.
  2. Mother:
    Women who has a child with age from birth to 24 months.
  3. Knowledge:
    Mothers understanding regarding infant weaning as measured by knowledge
    score.
  4. Practice:
    Mothers activity regarding infant weaning as measured by practice score.
  5. Infants:
    children aged from birth to 24 months of age.
  6. Ikenne
    local government area:
    A local government area in Ogun state.

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