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Enabling, predisposing, and reinforcing factors influencing implementation of exclusive breastfeeding among lactating mothers in Limpopo Province, South Africa

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Background: Breastmilk only is enough for milestone of a child because it contains all necessary nutrients. Because of its benefits World Health Organization recommends that lactating mothers must give their infants only breastmilk for six months and continue up to two years with appropriate complementary food. Despite its benefits breastfeeding is not well practiced in developing countries, South Africa included.
Objective: This study aimed to investigate enabling, reinforcing and predisposing factors influencing exclusive breastfeeding interruption among lactating mothers in Limpopo Province.
Methods and Materials: This study was cross sectional which employed quantitative measures. Data was collected from 399 lactating mothers during immunization in the selected birthing facilities of Limpopo Province and analysed using SPSS version 26.
Results: The findings indicate that breastfeeding mothers were likely to stop breastfeeding completely when their babies were three months old. The findings were that the majority 72.9% of the mothers practised mixed feeding and the minority, only 27.1% practised EBF. It was also found that 38.5% mothers gave water to the infants, 30.2% were given soft porridge and 26.1% formula.
Conclusion: The study revealed that the factors that affect exclusive breastfeeding include: influence from the Parents/in-laws Insufficient breastmilk, religious and cultural beliefs, illness of the mothers and young mothers and going back to work/school.


enabling, predisposing and reinforcing factors, exclusive breastfeeding, lactating mothers, implementation