Research

Breastfeeding knowledge and practices among mothers of children younger than 2 years from a rural area in the Limpopo province, South Africa

S A Motadi, T Malise, L Mushaphi

Abstract


Background. Exclusive breastfeeding is rarely practised in most rural areas of developing countries. Poor breastfeeding practices may stem from negative attitudes or poor knowledge about the value of breastfeeding. 

Objective. To determine breastfeeding knowledge and practices among mothers of infants younger than 2 years in a rural area of the Limpopo province, South Africa (SA). 

Methods. A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 360 women with children younger than 2 years from the Ha-Khakhu area in the Vhembe district, SA. Snowballing was used to select 360 participants. 

Results. The mean age of the respondents was 29.3 (8.1) years (range 18 - 45 years). The majority (75%) of the respondents agreed that infants should be breastfed up to the age of 6 months. Two-thirds of the respondents initiated breastfeeding within an hour of giving birth. During the time of data collection, 83% of the respondents were still breastfeeding, while 17% had stopped. The majority of the respondents (75.8%) agreed that complementary feeding should start at the age of 6 months. 

Conclusion. The respondents’ breastfeeding practices did not correspond to their high level of knowledge about breastfeeding. It is recommended that health education initiatives be intensified to promote breastfeeding.


Authors' affiliations

S A Motadi, Department of Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

T Malise, Department of Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

L Mushaphi, Department of Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2019;13(3):115-119. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2019.v13i3.1570

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-10-03
Date published: 2019-10-03

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