AN INVESTIGATION OF CHILD CARE STRESS AMONG NURSING MOTHERS IN ANAMBRA STATE
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The study is based on an investigation of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra State. Specifically, the study examines the causes of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state, evaluates the effect of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state, finds out the challenges of child care among Anambra state nursing mothers and finds out solution to child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state. A total of 260 responses were validated from the survey. The study adoptsthe interactive Theory of Breastfeeding. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings reveals that the causes of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state include inability to breastfeed children exclusively, child illness, inadequate time for breastfeeding and inadequate time to care for the child. The study recommends that fathers and other family members (such as mothers/mothers- in-law) should provide important social support for mothers with infants, so it is recommended that they are taught the necessary aspects of childcare to allow them to be more effective in reducing the stress of the mothers and increase the well-being of the infants.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Working women who are also nursing a child now account for a significant portion of the labor force [Marshall,2009], and despite global recognition of women’s social status, maintaining the home and caring for children are still seen as maternal roles [Friedman,2003], particularly during the transition to parenthood [Seto,2004]. With the addition of workplace obligations to family chores, mothers’ return to work increases stress levels. Working women face conflicting role expectations from both internal and external sources when it comes to work and family. Work and family are two of life’s most significant components, and disputes between them may have negative consequences for people, families, and businesses. Previous research has demonstrated the dangers of conflicting roles for women, with findings indicating that taking on multiple roles depleted a mother’s energy and reduced her life satisfaction [WHO, 2013]. Role overload, combined with workplace conflicts and household responsibilities, contributed to fatigue and exhaustion, as well as increased health risks for women. Working moms have increased stress when there are significant responsibilities at work and at home. Other research has shown that nursing moms suffer severe obstacles when they return to work while still intending to nurse [Ortiz, 2012]. Despite the fact that 88.8% of working mothers breastfeed while on maternity leave, only 24.1 percent continue to do so after returning to work. Stress is a growing issue for all employees, but it is especially prevalent among working mothers who breastfeed, and it is often linked to stress-related illness in women at twice the rate of men. People’s stress levels rise when they find inconsistencies in their ability to meet perceived demands in their environment, which has a negative impact on their overall health, including mental health for mothers who become depressed and anxious during and after the postpartum period [Ushie, 2004]. Mental health is critical for avoiding a skewed relationship with your child and others at home or at work. Understanding the sources of stress for working mothers is critical in order to provide support. Unsupportive work and home environments, as well as the unrelenting demands of breastfeeding, could all be considered stressors. Working mothers may find it difficult to balance family and work responsibilities when they are involved in conflicting roles at work and at home [Tukur,2013]. Learning how to manage role constraints may help working mothers reduce their stress levels. Children are crucial to the current and future of the country. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles are typically dedicated to giving their children every advantage imaginable, as well as ensuring that they are healthy and have the opportunity they need to reach their full potential in life. Communities, on the other hand, differ greatly in their commitment to children’s communal health and in the resources they make available to fulfill their needs (Balls,2013).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Breastfeeding gives newborns essential nourishment. While their children are at child care, some moms may prefer to continue nursing. They may opt to change their work schedules so that they may come to your house and breastfeed the baby, collect and preserve breast milk for you to feed the baby during the day, or have you give the baby formula during the day while continuing to nurse at home. The following breastfeeding baby facts might help child care professionals better understand and assist breastfeeding moms and their newborns ( Balls,2013). Child care is divided into three categories: centers, non-relative care, and relative care. A center is a group environment that is meant to care for young children. It includes programs mainly focused on enrichment or early education (e.g., head start, preschools, or after-school programs), as well as settings primarily focused on providing child care while parents are at work. Non-relative care may take place at the caregiver’s house (for example, in family child care homes) or in the home of the kid. Such care is usually paid for by the parents. Some of these child care centers are licensed, certified, or registered, and some of them get training and technical help, but the majority do not. Grandparents, siblings, and other relatives give relative care at the child’s household or in their own homes [Huston,2002]. According to the WHO, various variables impact child care practices, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria. Social, family, maternal, and environmental or cultural variables are examples of these elements. Many moms experience some amount of stress when breastfeeding their infants. There are certain stressors that breastfeeding moms endure that can be predicted. Pain, a tough delivery experience, dealing with privacy concerns, a lack of breastfeeding confidence, breastfeeding problems, exhaustion, coping with physical changes, and concerns about breast milk (Ortiz,2012). Child care stress among nursing moms in Anambra State will be looked into in this study.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of the study is as follows
- To examine the causes of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state.
- To evaluate the effect of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state.
- To find out the challenges of child care among Anambra state nursing mothers.
- To find out solution to child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions have been prepared for this study
1) What are the causes of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state?
2) What are the effect of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state?
3) What are the challenges of child care among Anambra state nursing mothers?
4) What are the solution to child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study examines child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state. Hence will be of benefit to women who are nursing children and also to health workers who will then be able to teach nursing mothers the best way to cope with nursing a child.
The study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on the said subject.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will examine the causes of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state. The study will also evaluate the effect of child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state. The study will further find out the challenges of child care among Anambra state nursing mothers. Lastly, the study will find out solution to child care stress among nursing mothers in Anambra state. Hence the study will be delimited to nursing mothers in Anambra state.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data.
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires.
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Child care stress: the care of children, especially by a crèche, nursery, or childminder while parents are working.
Nursing mothers: a mother who is breast-feeding her baby.
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