Background: Breastfeeding has been established as the gold standard of infant feeding,
and exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of a child’s life.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) less than 40% of children globally
are exclusively breastfed up to six months. The practice of exclusive breastfeeding in
Ghana is estimated at 52% and that of professional working mothers is about 10.3%. This
study therefore sought to find out the support professional working mothers in schools,
health facilities and banks are exposed to in relation to exclusive breastfeeding at
workplaces in Tamale Central Sub-Metropolitan of the Northern Region.
Methods: A mixed method study comprising quantitative technique using a structured
questionnaire and a qualitative method using an in-depth interview were employed among
professional working mothers, coworkers and management members between June and
July 2017. Multi-stage random sampling method was used to select respondents from the
various departments using the registers of employees as the sampling frame. A total
sample size of 170 professional working mothers (made up of 79 teachers, 69 nurses and
22 banking staffs), 15 coworkers and 15 management members were studied. Basic
descriptive statistics was run (frequencies and percentages) and association between
variables was analyzed using bivariate and multivariate analysis.
Results: There was high level of knowledge of breastfeeding policies by management
members and employees (professional working mothers) in this study. Despite the fact that
early initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth was high (88.2%), the rate of
exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) was low (14.7%). The support for exclusive breastfeeding
and coworkers support at the workplace was found to be inadequate, about 94.7% of
respondents did not have a clean room for breastfeeding at the workplace and only 15.9%
of respondents had a breastfeeding support policy at their place of work. Mothers in the
highest wealth quintile were 6 time more likely to initiate breastfeeding within the first
hour of birth as compared to their counterparts in the lowest wealth quintile (AOR=5.725
95% CI, 2.037 - 16.088,)
Conclusion: The proportion of professional working mothers who practiced exclusive
breastfeeding was found to be very low compared to the national figure of 52%. However,
initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth was high among respondents.
Workplace support and coworkers support were found to be inadequate across all the
study sites visited. Early return to work and inadequate support structures at the workplace
such as lack of table and chair for breastfeeding, refrigerator for breastmilk storage, tasked
adjustment and paid nursing breaks were reasons for low practice of exclusive
breastfeeding among this group of working mothers.
Edu, F (2021). Workplace Support for Exclusive Breastfeeding in Tamale Central Sub-Metropolitan of the Republic of Ghana: Perspectives of Employees, Coworkers and Management. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 16, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/workplace-support-for-exclusive-breastfeeding-in-tamale-central-sub-metropolitan-of-the-republic-of-ghana-perspectives-of-employees-coworkers-and-management
Frontiers, Edu. "Workplace Support for Exclusive Breastfeeding in Tamale Central Sub-Metropolitan of the Republic of Ghana: Perspectives of Employees, Coworkers and Management" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 04 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/workplace-support-for-exclusive-breastfeeding-in-tamale-central-sub-metropolitan-of-the-republic-of-ghana-perspectives-of-employees-coworkers-and-management . Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.
Frontiers, Edu. "Workplace Support for Exclusive Breastfeeding in Tamale Central Sub-Metropolitan of the Republic of Ghana: Perspectives of Employees, Coworkers and Management". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 04 Apr. 2021. Web. 16 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/workplace-support-for-exclusive-breastfeeding-in-tamale-central-sub-metropolitan-of-the-republic-of-ghana-perspectives-of-employees-coworkers-and-management >.
Frontiers, Edu. "Workplace Support for Exclusive Breastfeeding in Tamale Central Sub-Metropolitan of the Republic of Ghana: Perspectives of Employees, Coworkers and Management" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 16, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/workplace-support-for-exclusive-breastfeeding-in-tamale-central-sub-metropolitan-of-the-republic-of-ghana-perspectives-of-employees-coworkers-and-management