NUTRITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND INFANT FEEDING CARE PRACTICES OF NURSING MOTHERS IN ONITSHA EDUCATION ZONE: IMPLICATIONS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL TEACHING OF BIOLOGY AND HEALTH EDUCATION
Good nutrition is essential for all, most especially for infants, as their growth rate is determined by the quality of nutrition they receive during this period. Inadequate, nutrition affects child's growth and development in all its ramification. Since infants depend on their mothers principally for good nutrition, this study examined the nutritional knowledge, attitude and infants' feeding care practices of nursing mothers in Onitsha. The study adopted cross-sectional descriptive study design. Five hundred (500) nursing mothers attending postnatal and immunization clinics at selected Hospital in Onitsha participated in the study. This was a sample from a population of five thousand two hundred and fifteen (5,215). Self-employed and validated questionnaire and oral interview were used to collect data computation of Pearson, product moment co-efficient of reliability on testing result with two weeks interval gave 0.72. Frequency count, percentages, chi-square (x2), ANOVA and post- hoc were the statistical tools used. The study revealed that there is significant knowledge, positive, attitude and adequate infant feeding care practices of the participants. However, in a comparative analysis, better educational level positively affects mother's nutritional knowledge and attitude. Mother's low economic status affects their nutritional attitude and practices negatively. The researchers recommend among others that appropriate health education be given to nursing mothers for them to have positive attitude, and good health practices that will promote adequate nutrition of their children. Secondary school biology and health education teachers should emphasize this in lessons on reproduction and related subject matter like puberty, family life promotions.