Fathers’ Narratives and Perspectives on Exclusive Breastfeeding for 6 Months in Kiambu County, Kenya
Access is limited until:
Background: Exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) in Kenya is on the rise, but there is still room for improvement. Current literature demonstrates that fathers have a positive influence on breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity. Yet there is a lack of information on paternal support in Kiambu County and Kenya, as a whole. This study aimed to explore fathers’ experiences with fatherhood, their perspectives and narratives on EBF, and the ways they support their partners through EBF for 6 months.
Methods: The study took place in three public, government hospitals in Kiambu County, Kenya. Two qualitative research methods were used to address the study aims: in-depth interviews and qualitative story completion. Data was analyzed using a rigorous process of applied thematic analysis.
Results: Fathers in this study described fatherhood as a challenging, but rewarding experience. Participants articulated positive sentiments towards EBF and had varying levels of knowledge on its benefits. Fathers described that they supported their partners by providing a nutritious diet and financial resources, helping with household chores, and facilitating childcare. Finally, the findings also illuminated evident gaps in paternal knowledge on EBF and the lack of father-centered information at public health facilities. Conclusions: This research established a baseline understanding of paternal support for a specific subgroup of fathers in Kiambu County, Kenya. Future research can further these findings by building a more representative, holistic picture of paternal support in Kenya. This will provide the necessary insights for designing context-specific educational interventions and programs targeting fathers in Kenya.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Masters Theses
Works are deposited here by their authors, and represent their research and opinions, not that of Duke University. Some materials and descriptions may include offensive content. More info