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Infant feeding practices in Cape Coast: a sociological approach

Solomon Sika-Bright, University of Cape Coast
Akwasi Kumi-Kyereme, University of Cape Coast
Collins K. Ahorlu, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research
Peter Aglobitse, University of Cape Coast

Infant feeding has not always been seen as a social behaviour and this has contributed to poor practices among women in various societies. This paper assesses infant feeding practices among mothers in the Cape Coast Metropolis using the symbolic interactionist’ perspective. The study randomly selected 138 mothers with babies not more than six months old from postnatal clinic attendance records of the Central Regional Hospital. Marital and employment status of mothers, infant feeding practices of friends, social support and age of babies were found to influence infant feeding practices of the respondents in the Metropolis. It was observed that mothers were not breastfeeding exclusively due to strong adherence to culture. The Ghana Health Service should take into consideration the socio-cultural milieu when designing infant feeding education programmes in order to improve feeding practices.

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Presented in Poster Session 1