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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-12

Breast feeding practice among medical women in Nigeria


1 Research Fellow / Consultant Paediatrician, Institute of Child Health, University of Benin, PMB 1154, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Senior Lecturer/Consultant Paediatrician, Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1111, Benin City, Nigeria
3 Senior Registrar, Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1111, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A E Sadoh
Research Fellow / Consultant Paediatrician Institute of Child Health, University of Benin, PMB 1154, Benin City
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 21968706

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Background : Health care workers are important in the promotion, protection and support of breast feeding. Their ability to do this may be influenced by their knowledge, personal experiences and work. Patients and Method: The breast feeding experience of 36 female medical doctors who had babies within the preceding two years and had resumed work was evaluated using a semi-structured self administered questionnaire. Result: All respondents knew that babies should be exclusively breast fed for the first six months of life but only 60% knew that breast feeding should continue until two years. The exclusive breast feeding rate for the studied doctors was 11.1%. Before their babies were six months old, about 75% of respondents had resumed work whilst over 50% had started taking calls. Most could not breast feed during working or call hours. Alternative feeds during working or call hours included expressed breast milk in 34.4% and infant formula in 21.9%. Feeding bottle was the major method (77.4%) for feeding these alternatives. Work schedule was rearranged to allow breast feeding in only 27.3% of respondents. Conclusion: Failure to carry out exclusive breast feeding, the use of infant formula and feeding bottles (rather than cup feeding) are practices that may be inimical to the practice of breast feeding in society in general. The suboptimal breast feeding experience in these doctors and the identified knowledge deficits may limit their effectiveness in promoting and supporting breast feeding among their patients and communities. Female medical personnel should be empowered to carry out optimal feeding of their own infants.


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