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Background: Due to the risk associated with the use of medications among breastfeeding mothers, the study evaluates the pattern of medication and safety in three health facilities in Benin City, Nigeria.
Method: Structured questionnaires were distributed among consented breastfeeding mothers whose children were below twelve months old when visiting immunization clinics at the centers. Medication compatibility with breastfeeding was assessed using the World Health Organization and Lactation Risk Category classififications.
Results: Out of 634 breastfeeding women that participated in the study, the married respondents were 609(96.1%), 604(95.3%) attended prenatal class and 206(32.4%) were between 28 and 32 years. Higher baby weight of 3.3-5 kg was recorded among 425(67.0%) respondents. Breastfeeding information was common among 580(96.0%) respondents and 557(92.2%) agreed that breastfeeding was useful. Participants 290(45.7%) and 269(42.4%) had secondary and tertiary education respectively. Medications were used during breastfeeding by (95.3%) respondents. Total of 52 difffferent types were identifified and most of them (71.3%) were on medication compatible with breastfeeding. Analgesics 519(27.9%), antibiotics 274(14.7%), hematinic 433(23.3%) and anti-malarial drugs 235(12.6%) were commonly utilized. Respondents not counseled when taking medication during breastfeeding were 452(71.3%). Respondents that used medications requiring side effect monitoring were 3.6%. Healthcare givers prescribed medications for 60.2% and 39.85% self-medicated. The respondents that breastfed while on drugs were 575(95.5%) while 2% stopped breastfeeding because of drugs. Higher respondents 151(82.9%) claimed that nurses were the common healthcare givers.
Conclusion: The study revealed most medications used pattern and the compatibility pattern among breastfeeding mothers in the health facilities.
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