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PERCEIVED EFFECT OF MATERNAL EDUCATION LEVEL ON THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARD INFANT WEANING AMONG WOMENT IN AMASSOMA COMMUNITY, BAYELSA STATE

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PERCEIVED EFFECT OF MATERNAL EDUCATION LEVEL ON THEIR ATTITUDE TOWARD INFANT WEANING AMONG WOMENT IN AMASSOMA COMMUNITY, BAYELSA STATE

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 Background of the study

Weaning period is a transitional phase in child’s feeding. It should commence from the 6 th month of life based on recommendations from most academic bodies and this period often coincides with the eruption of the first primary dentition [5] -a possible indication of the child’s readiness for chewing food. At this age, breast milk is not always sufficient in providing adequate nutrition for the growing child hence the need for additional nonbreast milk based complementary meal. [6] In our setting, these are usually semi-solids, and differs in different locales, however in most Nigerian homes, they are often maize-based gruel, but with westernization, increasing maternal occupation  and marketing strategies adopted by most food and beverage companies, assorted preparations are readily available and this may influence our feeding practices such as reducing the age at commencement of complementary feeding and early cessation of breastfeeding. Therefore, this study hopes to determine the breastfeeding and weaning patterns and common factors that affect breastfeeding and weaning practices among Nigerian women.

Malnutrition is a major preventable risk factor for disability and premature mortality of children in developing countries. By eliminating malnutrition, it is estimated that child mortality could be decreased by more than half and the burden of disease by more than 20% in developing countries. According to the WHO, inappropriate feeding practices are one of the major causes of high morbidity in young infants of the developing world. There is increasing evidence for the positive impact of feeding-counselling on energy and nutrient intake and on the growth of children aged less than two years (3,4).

1.2 Statement of the problem

Complementary feeding plays an important role in infant growth, intellect, and development while inappropriate complementary feeding practices are associated with malnutrition. Maternal education in complementary feeding has some role in Infants’ linear growth and WHO growth parameters in children of developing countries.

Introduction of complementary food (CF) at six months of age helps in filling the gap between nutritional needs and the amounts provided by breastmilk. The timing of the introduction of CF is important because too early or delayed initiation may be associated with adverse consequences. Infants develop more respiratory illnesses and eczema if CF is started earlier than six months. This also exposes infants to pathogenic microbes contained in unhygienic food or water. Conversely, delay in introducing CF beyond six months may lead to an inadequate nutrient intake (6,7), delay in development of eating behaviour, and oral-motor skills (chewing, swallowing, and speaking). Delayed introduction of semi-solid food after the age of 10 months is associated with an increased risk of feeding difficulties

1.3 Objectives of the study

  1. To understand the importance of maternal education level on infant weaning
  2. To understand the impact level of maternal education level on attitude of mothers’ attitude towards infant weaning.

 

1.4 Research questions

  1. What is the importance of maternal education level on infant weaning?
  2. What is the impact level of maternal education level on attitude of mothers’ attitude towards infant weaning?

 

1.5 Research hypothesis

H0: Maternal education level have a weak impact on attitude of mothers’ attitude towards infant weaning

H1: Maternal education level have a strong impact on attitude of mothers’ attitude towards infant weaning

 

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