EFFECTS OF EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING ON NEUROCOGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT DURING FIRST YEAR OF CHILDHOOD IN KAHAWA WEST WARD, NAIROBI, KENYA

Author's Name: A O. Nger & Dr. Michael Kihara
Subject Area: Social Science and Humanities
Subject Psychology
Section Research Paper

Keyword:

cognitive development, low birthweight, exclusive breastfeeding, infants and toddlers and postnatal period.


Abstract

The effects of breastfeeding during infancy have been a major point of inquiry among scientists. Scientists link breastfeeding to child cognitive, educational, mental, behavioral and psychomotor development (Kramer, 2008; Oddy, 2006). The literature was sourced using the relevant research articles from Psych Net, PubMed and Google Scholar among others. This paper assessed the effect of exclusive breastfeeding on neurocognitive development during the first year of life. The research design was expostfacto in which the children who were exclusively breastfed for the first six months of birth were compared with their counterparts who were formula fed. Cognitive assessment was done for both groups using Bayley’s Screening test for infant development between 1-42 months. Total number of children was 180,(Females=93, males= 87). The results showed that there was no significant difference in cognitive development between the exclusively breastfed and the formula fed (M=1.444, SD=0.5) and (M=1.556, SD=0.5) respectively. ANOVA comparing the two groups was [F (1, 179) = 0.088, p= 0.767]. . The research concludes that there is no difference in cognitive functioning of exclusively breastfed compared to the formula fed.

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