The Psycho-Sociocultural Considerations of Breastfeeding in a Group of Cameroonian Women with Inadequate Practices

Author(s): Georges Pius Kamsu Moyo, Ngwanou Dany Hermann

With regards to nutritional and immunologic needs, the breastmilk’s content makes it a necessity for the normal development of growing infants. However, the “act of breastfeeding” seems important as well, given the affective and emotional interactions involved between the mother and her baby. This has a key role in neuropsychological development of newborns and helps relieve stress in breastfeeding mothers. However, lactation and breastfeeding may have environmental or sociocultural determinism, impacting mothers’ readiness to breastfeeding. This study aimed to investigate beyond risk factors, psycho-sociocultural-related issues and background as a predictor of inadequate breastfeeding practices among a group of newly delivered Cameroonian women. We conducted an analytic cross-sectional study over a period of six months from December 2018 to May 2019. We included all mothers with livebirth neonate infants weighing > 2000g and with no contraindication to breastfeeding. A total of 250 mothers were enrolled, the mean age was 27.9 ± 6.2 years. Ninety women (36%) had the Centre region as sociocultural background. Poor breastfeeding practices were found in 153 mothers (61.2%). Among which 60 women (39.2%) originated from the Centre region, with 37 (61.6%) having traditional beliefs and practices antagonizing breastfeeding, though 48 women (80%) had school education ≥ secondary level. Caesarean section delivery was overall practiced in 78 women (31.2%), with 72 (92.3%) evoking it as motif for breastfeeding refusal. After multivariate analyses, psycho-sociocultural background related to geographical origin and probably ethnicity occurred as a predictive factor for inadequate breastfeeding practices. From this, we concluded more emphasis should be led on perinatal counselling and geo-sociocultural-focused interventions to promote good breastfeeding practices.

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