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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The indigenous person of Nigeria has some certain ideas which formed the basis of their system of values. This system of values is manifested or expressed in all aspect of the life including the breast feeding of infants. Breast-feeding has been the recognized natural process of providing the most adequate nutrition for the baby. With the advent of Western civilization certain aspect of our indigenous culture were bastardized. With the introduction of feeding bottles, which was to assist the working mothers, practices now embraced by all mothers was seen as modernization in feeding babies. In view of this background, we want to look carefully into the concept of Breast-feeding of the infant child. Among the working class in the College of Education, Ekiadolor-Benin.
Breast-feeding is the feeding of an infant or young child with breast milk directly from female breast that is through location rather than from a feeding bottle or other containers. Babies have a sucking reflex that enables them to suck and swallow milk. It is recommended that mother’s breast feed for six months or more without the addition of infant formula, solid food or water. Mothers are advised to continue breast-feeding for at least a year. Human breast milk is the healthiest form of milk for babies. Here are few exceptions, such as when the mother is taking certain drugs or infected with human lymph tropic virus, human immune deficiency virus (HIV), if not taking ARVS or has active untreated tuberculosis. Breast-feeding promotes health and helps to prevent diseases, artificial feeding is associated with more deaths from diarrhea in infants in both developing and developed countries.
Experts agree that breastfeeding is beneficial and have concerns about artificial formulas but there are conflicting views about how long exclusive breast feeding remains beneficial. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academic of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasize the value of breast feedings for mothers as well as children. Both recommend exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of life. The American Academic of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that this be followed by supplemented breast feeding for at least one year. While WHO (2001) Global strategy for infant and young child feeding. The optimal deviation of exclusive breast feeding, recommends that supplemented breast feeding continues up to two years or more. While recognizing the superiority of breast feeding regulating authorities also work to minimize the risks of artificial feeding.
In Edo State, it was suggested that baby care centers be established close to the working mother’s places of work to enable them to breast feed their babies from time to time.
Breastfeeding is a concept that often evokes deeply held beliefs that are rooted in culture. For many people, it conjures up a warm image of a mother nurturing and nourishing her young offspring. For others, it creates a repulsive mental image of a woman exposing herself in a deviant fashion. Yet for others, a benign picture of a baby feeding at the breast comes to mind. Our attitudes regarding breastfeeding are highly reflective of the culture and environment from which we come. Although there are numerous benefits for babies, mothers, and society, breastfeeding is often not the feeding method of choice today for many women in this country. Breastfed babies have lower morbidity and mortality rates; breast milk provides perfect nutrition, passive immunity, aids in the formation of baby’s active immunity, and maximizes a baby’s physical and intellectual potential (Gartner, et al., 2005). Mothers experience many benefits of breastfeeding also. It speeds the recovery from pregnancy and decreases the risk factors for postpartum hemorrhage, pre-menopausal female cancers, osteoporosis, and heart disease (Gartner, et al., 2005). Both babies and mothers enjoy the close, unique bond that is formed by breastfeeding. Society benefits as well, by the conservation of healthcare dollars, maximization of food resources, improved birth spacing, financial savings to families, reduced government expenditures for formula and healthcare, and reduction in energy usage and waste production.
Breastfeeding promotion is one of the most basic and important health initiatives today. The benefits of breastfeeding to infants, mothers, and society are indisputable. As the costs of government funded programs and healthcare systems skyrocket, breastfeeding provides reductions in both short- and long-term expenditures. Governments, corporations, hospitals, and insurance companies need to advocate for a culturally sensitive, breastfeeding-friendly society in order for change to occur. The investment that is made now to increase breastfeeding rates in this country will pay dividends for generations to come.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Breast-feeding has been the natural and best way of feeding infant time immemorial. This important and natural mode of infant nutrition has been subjected to ridicule the state affair, may well be as a result of mis- formation and ignorance and bottle feeding has replaced breast feeding. This trend is most outstanding among literate.
This statement of the problem of this study is to research on breast feeding effect of breast feeding on the growing child. This research is also to find out solution to the following research questions.
- Breastfeeding adopted by mothers encouraged?
- What effect does breastfeeding have on the growing child?
- What is the control measures adopted for breastfeeding?
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study will be to determine the essence and effect breastfeeding on the growing child. The researcher’s work is centred on the essence and effect of breastfeeding on the growing child. The main aim of carrying out this study therefore is to:
- Critically examine the concept of breast feeding
- Find the positive and negative effects of breast feeding to the growing child.
- Identify the problems of breast feeding.
- Proffer or recommend possible solutions to the problems.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In view of the present problem of working mothers and breast feeding and the dangers of inadequate breast feeding and the adverse effect on mothers and infants, the research study will help the individual mothers, physical education administration, health workers and the entire local government area, especially for those mothers who because of ignorance or selfish interest do not want improvement on adequate breast feeding of the infants. The findings and recommendations of this research are also expected to help the state and the local government area in drawing plans to improve on the breast feeding practices and working mothers.
In this study, certain research questions are needed as they are related to the problem. The research questions are stated as follows:
- Are the mothers aware of the benefits of breast feeding to themselves and their infants?
- Does breastfeeding have any effect on nursing mothers and the babies?
- Does the working mother make use of bottle feeding more than breast milk?
- Are there poor/bad attitude of mother towards breast feeding?
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The problems of breast feeding are indeed a universal one. As a matter of fact, I intended to deal extensively with this study for this sis very important in the development of infant, and to the society. However the study is limited to breastfeeding mothers in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of Edo State.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Breast-feeding: This is the process of a woman feeding her baby with the milk from her breast.
Lactation: Lactation is the production of milk from the breast after giving birth.
Nutrition: This is the process of supplying and receiving nourishment.
HIV: Is a virus which reduces people resistance to illness and can cause Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV is an abbreviation for human Immunodeficiency virus.
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