Exclusive breastfeeding is the practice where a child receives breast milk only from the mother, a wet nurse or expressed breast milk for the first six month of baby life. It is associated with reduction in risk of childhood urinary tract infections, bacterial meningitis, diarrheal diseases, respiratory tract infections and sudden infant death syndrome. Despite the nutritional, economic, immunological and psychological advantages of breast milk, knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding has remained below recommended level. The study evaluated the effect of a nurse-based intervention on exclusive breastfeeding practice among pregnant mothers attending antenatal clinic in two primary heath care centres in Ikenne Local Government Area of Ogun state, Nigeria.
Method: Two groups pre-test, post-test quasi-experimental study was adopted. Researchers included 30 pregnant mothers attending antenatal clinic using purposive sampling. Participants completed a developed questionnaire to test knowledge and practice regarding exclusive breastfeeding pre-intervention and six weeks post-intervention at postnatal clinic visit. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics at 0.05 level of significance.
Results: The mean difference in knowledge among participants in the control group was 0.065 while the experimental group was 0.116. The mean difference in practice among participants in the control group was 0.056 while the experimental group was 0.291. Results showed significant difference in effect of a nursing-based intervention on knowledge and practice concerning exclusive breastfeeding among pregnant mothers in the experimental and control group (P =.000).
Conclusion: Pregnant mothers’ knowledge and practice regarding exclusive breastfeeding can be improved through a nursing based intervention. The study recommended that pregnant mothers should be regularly exposed to breastfeeding readiness education which is necessary for improving mothers’ knowledge and practice regarding exclusive breastfeeding.