The Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Exclusive Breastfeeding among Mothers in Two Semi-Urban Areas around a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designated hospital in Lagos State, Nigeria.


  • Titilola T. Obilade 1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 2. Formerly employed by Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria when study was conducted



Public Health


Background: The World health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF initiated intensive efforts to transform hospitals into breastfeeding support centers through the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. The study populations in this study were geographically located within the vicinity of a BFHI designated Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of exclusive breast feeding among mothers in two semi-urban areas around a BFHI designated hospital.

Method: Four hundred self-administered questionnaires were distributed to mothers from two semi urban areas in Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos, Nigeria to ascertain their socio demographic data, knowledge, attitude and practice of exclusive breastfeeding. Approval for the study was granted by the Ethics Committee. The respondents were chosen by simple random sampling. The questions covered socio demographic data, knowledge, attitude and the practice of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF). Collected data was analyzed and investigated for statistical associations. 

Results: The knowledge, attitude and practice of exclusive breastfeeding amongst mothers in the semi urban area of Lagos, Nigeria is statistically significantly affected by their educational level and by their professional level. Those with a higher level of education were more likely to have a correct knowledge (P < 0.05). Religion, educational level, professional level and number of children were statistically significant for practicing EBF for at least three months (P < 0.05). The belief that colostrum is not good for the baby was statistically significant for educational level and profession (P < 0.05).  The belief that sperm could get into the breast milk was statistically significant for age, religion, ethnic group, education, profession and the number of children (P < 0.05). Out of all the socio demographic variables examined, educational level of the mother and the mother’s professional level were the two variables that were most frequently statistically significant for knowledge, attitude and practice questions. 

Conclusion: The knowledge, attitude and practice of breast feeding are mostly affected by the education and the profession of the mother. Certain beliefs about breast milk and sperm were statistically significant across all the socio demographic data examined. Recommendations were made to increase health education targeted at correcting beliefs about colostrum and breast milk. Recommendation was also made for a reevaluation of BFHI.

Keywords; Nigeria, Exclusive breastfeeding(EBF); Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI); Knowledge; Attitude; Practice, Predictive Factors; Education; Socio demographic factors; Colostrum.



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Global Health & Health Policy