Background of the Study
Breast milk is the natural first food for infants (Davis, Darko & Mukuria, 2003). It renders all the nutrients an infant needs for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding together with complementary feeding continues to meet a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year until the second year of life when a child could be weaned. It is an essential part of the reproductive process and contributes to the health and wellbeing of both mother and baby (WHO, 2011).
Breastfeeding is accepted globally as the preferred method of feeding infants. According to World Health Organization exclusive breastfeeding, is defined as giving only breast milk from a mother or wet nurse or expressed without any additional food or liquid for six months (WHO, 2002). This gives multiple benefits to the infant and mother. Exclusive breastfeeding is adequate in quality as well as quantity in terms of energy, protein, nutrients, water etc. (WHO, 2002). Research indicates that the quantity and quality of milk produced by undernourished mothers is remarkably good, with the amount of milk and energy concentration being only a little less than that of well-nourished mothers (Salwa, Soliman & Bakr, 2014). However the level of milk production could be increased by improving maternal nutrition (Allen, 1994).