Maternal nutritional knowledge, feeding practices and nutritional status of infants (0-24months) in Ilaro, Ogun State
Adetula OA, Johnson AT
Poor infants feeding practices have been found to be more prevalent among nursing mothers in developing countries. Continuous evaluation of the likely contributing factors will help in correcting this. This study assessed the Maternal Nutritional knowledge, Feeding practices and Nutritional status of infants (0-24 months) in Ilarotown. Using a multistage sampling technique, a total number of 250 nursing mothers were selected in Ilaro. A semi- structured and interviewer administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic characteristics, Maternal nutritional knowledge and infants feeding practices, while the nutritional status of the infants was assessed using anthropometry measurement. The data collected was subjected to both descriptive and inferential (chi square) statistics using SPSS Version 20.0. The results showed that 2.0% of the respondents had no formal education and almost half of the respondents (40.4%) earned more than #10,000 monthly. Anthropometry measurement shows that 50.8% of the infants had normal weight for age, while 12.4%, 9.6% and 27.2% were severely, moderately and mildly wasted respectively. Also 21.6% and 40.4% had normal height for age and weight for age respectively and these were significantly associated with their parental educational attainment (weight for age; ᵡ2= 36.026, p-value = 0.007, height for age; ᵡ2=40.100,p-value = 0.002) and estimated monthly income (WFA: ᵡ2= 27.734,p-value = 0.006, HFA:ᵡ2=25.324,p-value = 0.013). More than half of the respondents (54.4%) had good knowledge of maternal nutrition and nearly all initiated breastfeeding (82.4%) after delivery. 58.4% practiced exclusive breastfeeding and almost half of the respondents (43.6%) introduced complementary feeding after six months of birth. Significant association (ᵡ2=32.417,p-value = 0.001) was observed between educational attainment and maternal nutritional knowledge of the mothers. Conclusively, practice of exclusive breastfeeding and maternal nutritional knowledge was significantly high; however, high level of malnutrition in this study calls for urgent intervention,hence there is need to create more opportunities to enhance maternal income generation, improved maternal education and ensure routine monitoring of the health of the children.