Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Food and Nutrition Services

First Advisor

Georgianna Mann

Second Advisor

Nadeeja Wijayatunga

Third Advisor

Melinda Valliant


University of Mississippi

Relational Format



Niger is one of the countries with the lowest exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates in the world. The purpose of this study was to determine the barriers to EBF in Niger and to determine the types of feedings that are most commonly practiced in Niger. Participants (n=31) were mothers with children aged 0 to 24 months, recruited on-site at a healthcare facility in Niamey, the capital of Niger. They completed a 20-item questionnaire on socio-demographics, breastfeeding support and knowledge, a short food security survey, and a 24-hour diet recall. All mothers interviewed breastfed at some point, and a majority of the mothers were planning to breastfeed until the child reached 18 months old. No mother among the participants practiced EBF for the recommended 6 months, because of the common practice of prelacteal feeding, where solid or liquid foods were introduced before 6 months of age. Most participants stated that they were instructed on how to feed their child by a close relative such as their mother or sister, while health professionals rarely gave such instructions. Exclusive breastfeeding is not a common practice among mothers in Niamey. Even though many breastfeed their infant for a long time, the participants admitted that they often feed their infants solid and liquid foods before they reach the recommended age for complementary feeding, and sometimes within 48 hours after birth. Study results may inform the development of breastfeeding education components in clinics where mothers attend pre and postnatal consultations.

Available for download on Saturday, September 13, 2025