PREDICTORS OF EXCLUSIVE BREAST-FEEDING AMONG WOMEN IN FORMAL EMPLOYMENT ATTENDING CHILD WELFARE CLINIC AT JARAMOGI OGINGA ODINGA TEACHING AND REFERRAL HOSPITAL, KENYA
Damaris Moraa*, Mary Kipmerewo, Silvenus Konyole and John Arudo
Background: Breast-feeding lays the foundation for healthy growth and child development. Despite the
documented benefits of exclusively breast-feeding, studies have found that several predictors influence the duration
of breast-feeding and few researches have assessed the predictors of exclusive breast-feeding among women in
formal employment in Kenya. The objective of this study was to determine the predictors of exclusive breastfeeding
among mothers in formal employment attending child welfare clinic at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga
Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH). Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional design was used in the study.
Three hundred and ninety one (391) women in formal employment with infants aged one year and below were
purposively sampled. Results: Fifty one (51%) of the women in formal employment were practicing EBF. The
study identified three elements as predictors of EBF; respondents who were more knowledgeable on the benefits of
EBF to the mother (aOR=3.22, 95% CI [1.63-6.35], p-0.001) were 3 times more likely to EBF while those who
delivered in public hospitals (aOR=12.48,95%CI [1.46-10.7],p-0.021) were 12 times more likely to EBF than those
that delivered in private hospitals. The study also revealed that women who were more knowledgeable on risks of
failure to EBF their babies had higher odds of EBF (aOR=4.10, 95% CI [2.07-8.12], p<0.001). The major
constraints hindering women in formal employment from practicing EBF were resumption to work after delivery,
lack of breast-feeding facilities at work place, support and long working hours. Conclusion: The predictors of
Exclusive breastfeeding among women in formal employment include knowledge and place of delivery. Though
the women are knowledgeable on EBF several challenges hinder them from effectively practicing EBF. There is
therefore urgent need for strategies that will enhance EBF for women in formal employment.
Keywords: Exclusive breastfeeding, Knowledge, Constraints.
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