Influence of socio-economic status on breastfeeding and cognitive development of a child in Kahawa west ward, Nairobi, Kenya
Ambrose Ondiek Ngere, Dr. Michael Kihara, Moses Gichuho Chege
The World Health Organization has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a child’s life (WHO, 2003). Breastfeeding should continue to get breast milk together with other foods until they are two years old. 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 whether socio-economic status has any influence on breastfeeding and cognitive development of a child. The research design was expost facto 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.