Exclusive Breastfeeding and Family Influences in Rural Ghana: A Qualitative Study

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Exclusive Breastfeeding and Family Influences in Rural Ghana: A Qualitative Study

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Publication 2-year master student thesis
Title Exclusive Breastfeeding and Family Influences in Rural Ghana: A Qualitative Study
Author(s) IDDRISU, SEIDU
Date 2013
English abstract
Exclusive breastfeeding has been recognised as an important public health tool for the primary prevention of child morbidity and mortality. Consequently, the WHO and UNICEF have recommended exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after delivery, followed by introduction of complementary foods and continued breastfeeding for 24 months or more. Even so, however, efforts to promote exclusive breastfeeding have either achieved limited successes or run into severe problems due in part to poor understanding of the several influences on the practice. As a social institution and more importantly the basic unit of society, the aim of this study was to seek an in-depth understanding of family influences on exclusive breastfeeding in rural Ghana. Using a qualitative method with unstructured interviews as data collection instrument, a total of fourteen respondents comprising breastfeeding women and family from Moglaa in the Savelugu/Nanton Municipality in Ghana participated in this study. All Interviews were audio taped, transcribed, and analysed using seven analytic procedures. Four themes emerged in relation to the forms of family influences on exclusive breastfeeding: family knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding; collective sense of duty; family beliefs and practices; and learning to breastfeed. Given how the family participate and influence infant feeding practices, it is suggested that public health education must aim at increasing the familiarity of family members on breastfeeding recommendations and also endeavour to work with traditional and religious leaders so as to modify and/or discourage practices that involve feeding newborns with herbal teas and ritual concoctions.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Hälsa och samhälle
Pages 63
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Exclusive breastfeeding
family
Ghana
influence
rural community
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/15545 (link to this page)

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