The relationship between social support among HIV positive mothers and exclusive breastfeeding feeding practice during the first 6 months of life at Rusape district hospital.
One in three children under the age of 6 months are exclusively breastfed, this translates to 33% (ZDHS, 2011), which is very low that is against WHO (2010) recommendations. Study was conducted at Rusape District Hospital, respondents were HIV positive mothers who breastfed for the first 6 months (mean = 22, median = 23, mode = 25, SD = 3.616). Study sought to find out relationship between social support and exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) practice among HIV positive mothers and a quantitative descriptive correlational study design was utilized. Health Promotion Model (Pender, 1982) guided the study. Non-probability convenience sampling method and 85 respondents were selected. A structured interview schedule was used to collect data from demographics, social support and EBF practices. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Study findings were that 75% respondents initiated breastfeeding within an hour, while 100% respondents did not offer pre-lacteal feeds, 87.1% perceived that had adequate breast milk for baby up to 6 months, 96.5% agreed it was practical to EBF their babies while on ART. Only 69.4% EBF their babies, 83.5% respondents received informational support, and 95.3% respondents received material support. Eighty nine percent cited midwife as influential to their decision to EBF. Pearson Correlation revealed significant positive moderate relationship (r = .382, p = .01). Regression Analysis revealed linear relationship (Adjusted R2 = .136) social support was responsible for 13.6% changes in EBF practices. F statistics (F = 14.2, p = .00) showed significant R2, Beta (b = .382, p = .01) was .382 that is for every unit change in social support, EBF practices would improve by 38.2%. Midwives should capitalize being valued referent to shape EBF behaviors through health education.
College of Health Sciences