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Breastfeeding is unequaled way of providing ideal food for the health, growth and development of infants and most natural way of feeding them in all traditions. It is an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of the mother. Human milk is the most appropriate of all available types of milk, that is uniquely adapted for infant nutrition as it components consistently adopt to the child’s need and environmental challenges. Breast milk contains virtually all the nutrients antibodies and anti-oxidants an infant needs to thrive for the first six months of life (Abasiattai, Umana, Nyong and Eyo, 2014).

The benefits of breast feeding for mothers and infants have been widely recognized and researched studies have shown that breastfeeding is superior to infant formula feeding because of its protective properties against illness, in addition to its nutritional advantages  (Sadoh  & Oniyelu, 2011). Considering the extensive benefits of breastfeeding, the world Health organization and the American Dietetic Association recommended exclusive breast feeding of infants for the first six months and continued breastfeeding with complementary foods up to twelve (12) months of age (ADA Report, 2001). Despite widespread efforts to encourage breastfeeding, the rates in the United States (U.S) have remained low (Pugh, 2002).

Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) refers to the exclusive intake of breast milk or expressed breast milk by an infant without the addition of any other liquid or solids, with the exception of oral drops or syrups containing vitamins, mineral supplements or medicines. Exclusive breastfeeding advocated the world over as the optimal mode of feeding for young infants in the first months of life, followed by breast milk and complimentary feeds thereafter till two years of age or beyond. When the infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, their immune system is stimulated and this goes hand in hand with protecting them from disease like diarrhea and acute respiratory infections, which are considered to be two of the major causes of infant mortality in developing world. When breastfeeding is practiced exclusively, it is associated with a lower risk of HIV transmission than mixed feeding.

Other advantages of exclusive breastfeeding include reduction in post partum bleeding, improvement in home status later in life and protection against breast and ovarian cancers. Other benefits include lactational amenorrhea which enhances child spacing, early mother-infant bonding and reduction in infant abandonment and child abuse. EBF also provides social and economic benefits to the family and the nation as well as a sense of satisfaction to most nursing-mothers (Madhu, Chowdary & Masti, 2009).

Breastfeeding is accepted as the natural form of infant feeding. For mothers to be able to breastfeed exclusively to the recommended six months, it is important to understand the factors that affect exclusive breastfeeding, studies of non pregnant high school students suggest  that attitudes toward infant feeding begin to form well before pregnancy. Previous research has shown that maternal attitudes toward breastfeeding and perceptions of infant health benefits of breastfeeding influence the decision of breastfeed. Man demographic factors such as maternal age, marital status, education, race, nature of work, cultural factors, parity number of children at  home and social  support, urban versus rural residence and employment  policies have been shown to potentially affect a nursing-mother’s decision (Dubois, Girard, 2003).

Among all of these factors, mother’s education had greater impact on nutritional status of children. However, it does not mean that mothers with high education level had healthy children only. Many studies outside the south-south region and very few within the region have been carried out to ascertain most factors that affect exclusive breastfeeding practices among nursing mothers. For instance, Tan (2011) researched on factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding among infant under six months of age in Peninsular Malaysia, he found that the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers with infant aged between one and six months was one percent (Abasiattai et al, 2014).  In the study on knowledge and practice of exclusive breast-feeding among antenatal attendees in Uyo, southern Nigeria revealed that the level of knowledge and practice of exclusive breastfeeding by women in Uyo is poor and as such none of the women belonged to a breastfeeding support group and the most common source of information on exclusive breastfeeding was the antenatal health talk.

Other efforts made toward the determination of factors affecting exclusive breastfeeding practices among nursing mothers are the works of Setegn, Belachew, Gerbaba, Deribe, Denshaw and Biadgilign (2012) on factors associated with exclusive breastfeeding  practices among mothers in Goba District, discovered that the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding  for infant aged less than six months in the study area was 71-3 percent as measured by last 24 hours recalled period preceding the survey date.

A critical examination of the above cited study by different authors and researchers show that there is no consistency to ascertain to which extent the factors mentioned above affect exclusive breastfeeding practices among nursing-mothers and which of the factors has the prevalence effects or influence.

The researcher in the current study is interested to investigate the effect exclusive breastfeeding on infant 0-6 month in Mbatwer Community of Konshisha and Local government of Benue state.

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