Perceived incentives and barriers to exclusive breastfeeding among periurban Ghanaian women

J Hum Lact. 2009 Feb;25(1):34-41. doi: 10.1177/0890334408325072. Epub 2008 Oct 29.


Focus group discussions were conducted to elicit the perceived incentives and barriers to exclusive breastfeeding in Ghana. Thirty-five breastfeeding women were recruited from the Manya and Yilo Krobo districts of the eastern region. Participants had a mean age of 27.5 years and had at least one child < 4 months old. Almost all of the participants believed that exclusive breastfeeding is the superior infant feeding method and should be practiced for the first 6 months postpartum. However, there was widespread belief that infants can be given water if it is clean. Mothers reported that exclusive breastfeeding was easier when breast milk began to flow soon after delivery. The main obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding identified were maternal employment, breast and nipple problems, perceived milk insufficiency, and pressure from family. Addressing the concerns put forward by these participants can be used to enhance exclusive breastfeeding promotion in this region.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding / epidemiology*
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / education*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Perception
  • Young Adult