Exclusive breastfeeding by adolescent mothers: A case study of Mukono Municipality
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Introduction: Globally, the number of adolescent mothers continues to increase and it poses a challenge to maternal and child survival. In Uganda, adolescent mothers have challenges that may not be supportive of breastfeeding. The study was set out to assess Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) on Exclusive Breastfeeding among the Adolescent Mothers. Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional research design with both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. A sample of 34 adolescent mothers, 2 health centres 5 Spouse and 2 traditional birth attendants was obtained from Mukono municipality Council. Both qualitative and quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Package for social Sciences (SSPS) for the research. Findings: The study found that adolescent mothers had knowledge regarding exclusive breastfeeding and these received the information from the health workers during the antenatal clinic of the baby. The adolescent mothers knew exclusive breastfeeding as feeding baby with only breast milk for the first six months. The study also found that adolescent mothers had a positive attitude towards breastfeeding as the mothers were willing to exclusively breastfeed, viewed starting complementary foods to a child before six months as something not important and believed that breastfeeding makes a baby healthier than a baby who takes additional food. The study found that there were various support systems such as breastfeeding education and training much as they were faced with a wide range of challenges. Conclusion and Recommendations: The study therefore made recommendations as the government of Uganda should strengthen post-natal education on coping with early breastfeeding challenges both at the health facility and after discharge from the hospital. Further work is required to establish the factors that influence exclusive breastfeeding among adolescent mothers.