Mothers’ poor knowledge and negative attitude towards breastfeeding may influence practices and constitute barriers to optimizing the benefits of the baby-friendly initiative. This study assessed breastfeeding knowledge, attitude and techniques of postures, positioning, hold practice and latch-on among Nigerian mothers from a Semi-Urban community.
Three hundred and eighty three consenting lactating mothers who have breastfed for 6 months and up to two years volunteered for this cross-sectional survey, yielding a response rate of 95.7%. A self-administered questionnaire that sought information on maternal socio-demographic variables, knowledge, attitudes and breastfeeding techniques of mothers was employed.
Based on cumulative breastfeeding knowledge and attitude scores, 71.3% of the respondents had good knowledge while 54.0% had positive attitude. Seventy one point three percent practiced advisable breastfeeding posture. Sitting on a chair to breastfeed was common (62.4%); and comfort of mother/baby (60.8%) and convenience (29.5%) were the main reasons for adopting breastfeeding positions. Cross-cradle hold (80.4%), football hold technique (13.3%), breast-to-baby (18.0%) and baby-to-breast latch-on (41.3%) were the common breastfeeding techniques. A majority of the respondents (75.7%) agreed that neck flexion, slight back flexion, arm support with pillow and foot rest was essential during breastfeeding. There was no significant association between breastfeeding posture practice and each of cumulative breastfeeding knowledge score levels (X2 = 0.044; p = 0.834) and attitude score levels (X2 = 0.700; p = 0.403).
Nigerian mothers demonstrated good knowledge and positive attitude towards breastfeeding. Most of the mothers practiced advisable breastfeeding postures, preferred sitting on a chair to breastfeed and utilized cross-cradle hold and baby-to-breast latch-on.