Breastfeeding and infant carrying tasks are usually associated with posture-related musculoskeletal disorders. This study investigated the knowledge and practice of suitable breastfeeding (BF) and infant carrying (IF) positions among Nigerian nursing mothers.
Methods: Three hundred and fifty consenting nursing mothers participated in this cross-sectional survey, yielding a response rate of 97.2%. A pre-tested self-administered questionnaire that sought information on maternal socio-demographic variables, knowledge and practice of BF and IC positions was employed in the study. Data was analyzed
using descriptive statistics and inferential statistics of Chi square and logistic regression.
Results: A majority (72%) of the respondents had poor knowledge of breastfeeding positions while 18.3% had poor knowledge of infant carrying positions. Common features of BF practices among the respondents include neck and
trunk forward lean (76.3%), twisted spine (70.3%), scissors hold of the breast (67.4%), and sitting on stools
or edges of the beds without back support (52.6%). Trunk forward lean (42%) and positioning the infant-
load with a wrap on the upper back (32.3%) were commonly identified features of appropriate IC postures.
Majority of the respondents (67.7%) practiced non-advisable BF positions compared with IC positions
(30.6%). There was significant association between knowledge of BF positions and BF position practices(
X2= 13.021;p = 0.001). Respondents with good knowledge of BF positions have 0.5 less chance of involvement in non-advisable BF practices.
Conclusion:Nigerian nursing mothers have poor practice and knowledge of appropriate breastfeeding positions. However, Nigerian mothers have good knowledge of appropriate infant carrying positions, as well as advisable infant carrying practices. Knowledge of breastfeeding positions is significant determinant of breastfeeding position practice among the population.