KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND ADOPTION OF APPROPRIATE FEEDING PRACTICES BY MOTHERS AND ANTHROPOMETRIC INDICES OF THEIR CHILDREN IN AGUATA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA
This study was designed to assess the knowledge, attitude and adoption of appropriate infantfeeding practices of mothers and the anthropometric indices of their children. Three hundred andseventy three mothers who attended infant welfare clinics at the three health settings (Generalhospital Ekwulobia, Primary health care Ekwulobia, and Primary health care Akpo) all in AguataL.G.A were involved in the study.
2/22 evaluated the nutritional status of the infants inrelation to their anthropometric indices. Also infant feeding practices of mothers in the locality was assessed. A validated semi-structured questionnaire by experts at the Department of HomeScience, Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka was used to elicit information onsocio-economic characteristics of the mothers and their children. Results showed that age of themothers involved in the study ranged from less than 20 years to 41 years and above. The motherswere mostly civil servants (29.50%), traders (29.30%), skilled workers (16.90%), housewives(16.60%) and unskilled workers (9.40%).
Household size of 3-4 members dominated (38.90%) ofpopulation studied. On the average, 67.74% of the mothers had correct knowledge of infant feedingguidelines which means that mothers were knowledgeable on the infant feeding guidelines. Mostmothers (67.60%) received information on breastfeeding through the midwives and nurses wherethey attended antenatal clinic. A total of (47.70%) of the mothers ever adopted exclusivebreastfeeding for different periods of time. A total of (43.40%) stopped breastfeeding their babiesafter 12 months of age followed by (21.70%) who stopped breastfeeding after 15 months of age ofthe child.
Only 19.30% and 13.90% stopped breastfeeding their babies after 9 months and 6 monthsof age respectively. Anthropometric indices (length and weight) were used to assess the nutritionalstatus of the children. The boys were taller and heavier than the girls in all age groups except age19-24 months. A total of 22.62% of males and 21.26% of the females were stunted. About 7.54%of the males and 14.37% of the females were wasted.
A total of 12.06% males and 7.4% femaleswere undernourished. There was positive and significant (r = 0.7714: P<0.0001) correlationbetween age and weight of the children as well as their length and age (r = 0.7937: P><0.0001).Breastfeeding was the predominant infant feeding method among the mothers. There was nosignificant (P>0.05) difference between the weight and length of children fed breast milk only andthose fed breast milk plus formula; breast milk and other foods. There was a significant (P<0.05)difference in the length and weight of males and females, within 0-6 months of age while there wasno significant (P>0.05) difference in their weight and body mass index (BMI). For those within 7-12 months of age there was no significant (P>0.05) difference in their length, while there wassignificant (P
<0.05) difference in their weight and BMI >