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Cover Page – – – – – – – – i
Declaration Page – – – – – – – – ii
Approval Page – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication Page – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgements – – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – – viii
Abstract – – – – – – – – – x

1.1. Background to the Study – – – – – – 1
1.2. Statement of the Problem – – – – – – 3
1.3 Purpose of the Study – – – – – – – 4
1.4 Research Questions – – – – – – – 5
1.5 Research Hypotheses – – – – – – – 5
1.6 Significance of the Study – – – – – – 5
1.7. Scope of the Study – – – – – – – 6
1.8. Operational Definition of Terms – – – – – 8

2.1 Motherhood – – – – – – – – 9
2.2 Studentship – – – – – – – – 9
2.3 Challenges of Student Breast feeding Mothers – – – – 10
2.4 Diverse Effects of these Challenges on the Academic Performance of
Breast Feeding Mothers – – – – – – 16
2.5 Support System Available for Student Breast Feeding Mothers – – 20

3.1 Research Design – – – – – – – 25
3.2 Population of the Study – – – – – – – 25
3.3 Sample and Sampling Techniques – – – – – 25
3.4 Instrumentation – – – – – – – – 26
3.4.1 Description of the Instrument – – – – – 26
3.4.2 Procedure for the Instrument Development – – – – 26
3.5 Validity and Reliability of the Instrument – – – – 27
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection – – – – – – 27
3.7 Method of Data Analysis – – – – – – 27

4.1 Data Presentation – – – – – – – 29
4.2 Test of Hypothesis – – – – – – – 35
4.3 Discussion of Findings – – – – – – – 36

5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – – 38
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – – 39
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – 39
References – – – – – – – – 41
Appendix – – – – – – – – 44


This project was carried out in order to determine the impact of breastfeeding on the academic performance of student mothers in colleges of Education in Plateau State Central Zone. The survey research design was adopted. The population of this study consisted of all the breastfeeding students mothers in colleges of education in Plateau Central Zone, (FCE, Pankshin and College of Education, Gindiri). The sample of this study was a 100 breastfeeding mothers from the two colleges of education (50 for each). The researcher used purposive sampling technique. Purposive in the sense that the sample was drawn based on mothers who were breastfeeding at that moment. The instrument used for data collection was a self-structured questionnaire with four likert scale of Strongly Agreed (SD), Agreed (A), Disagreed (D) and Strongly Disagreed (SD). The data was analysed using simple percentage for the biodata of the respondents, mean score for the responses and chi-square for testing hypothesis. The findings of the study indicated that: There are different challenges which are confronting breast feeding student mothers in the course of their academic pursuits which include, inability to cope with time, worrying about their babies when they are in the lectures, finding it difficult to read their books even during exams because they are already exhausted, sometimes they miss classes because they are attending to their babies and breastfeeding mothers are not allowed to stay in the hostel; also there are strategies which are adopted by these breastfeeding student mothers in order to cope with the academic work which are keeping their children in daycare, having nannies, bringing their babies to lecture halls, relatives who help out, leaving the children with friends. The effects on academic performance include: effect on their GP, hardly having time for tutorials with course mates and sleeping during lectures. In the light of findings, the study recommends the following among others: Colleges must provide day care centres where student mothers could keep their babies during lectures and other academic activities on campus, the colleges should provide lactation rooms for student breastfeeding mothers, husbands and men in general should be encouraged to contribute to childcare, government should build hostels for breastfeeding student mothers to make life easy for them where light will be available for them to read at night.

1.3. Background to the Study
Many countries of the world today have held the training of their citizenry as their principal industry. In most states of Nigeria, education is the single establishment that employs the greatest number of the workforce. According to Audi (2003), it not only brings about change and knowledge in a person but inabilities to think and to acquire habits, skills, interest, and attitudes, the major characteristics of a person who is socially accepted and personally adjusted. Since Education is responsible for bringing up youths and providing the workforce in the countries, its efficacy has always been of public concern. It is against this background that Onuzulike (2006) wrote that for any person to hope of occupying a meaningful position in future, he or she must embrace good education as the first instrument. Abraham Lincoln, an American political philosopher and leader wrote that education kills the “bright diseases”: ignorance, superstition, fear, and poverty. He went on to urge learners not to give up on education, but to aspire to the zenith to get the certificate first then the available job later (Uche, 2007).
Nowadays, women including breast feeding mothers are no longer willing to compromise their chances for higher education. As fast and changing our society is, as complex as its nature is and with the present economic depression or economic meltdown, one area that needs attention which perhaps has not gotten the desired attention is the education of married women, especially the breast feeding mothers in the institution of higher learning (Freeman, 2009). Nigerian women by the day are growing strong in knowledge acquisition. There are today women professors, lawyers, doctors, engineers and others (Angulanna, 2009). It is observable that the 21st century woman has a passion for higher and quality education regardless of their marital status and responsibilities, especially childbearing and rearing, a responsibility which is clearly difficult and tasking to most women. Freeman (2009) described the recent development in the quest for higher education among women as a welcomed development, as it enables women contributes meaningfully not only to the family but the society at large. Williams (2007) stated that graduate school is a space and a place where real changes can begin to enact different policies, build a different community, draw on functioning and effective support systems, and make inclusiveness and diversity a reality. These changes can happen only if support comes from all fronts, only if graduate students who are mothers are not the only ones making all the sacrifices, and only if children and family life are coded in the academy as symbols of encouragement rather than problems to be managed by individual women (Ydofo, 2013)
According to Okeke in Onuzulike (2009), the challenges of childcare are the first natural function of any woman and others, however, are secondary. According to Ydofo (2013) the stress or trauma which student mothers have to go through makes them feel psychologically ill-disposed towards school programme. This has led some of them to drop out of the programme. As mothers, they are bothered about their children. In addition, some have to contend with pregnancy while others nurse their newborn babies alongside their studies. Some have had to put to bed in the course of their studies or even during examinations. This further increases their burden and has made some to fail their exams while some have had to even abandon their examinations. Continuing, Williams (2007) further stated that if mothers do not consider child rearing as a natural assignment, the children will suffer from lack of care, neglect, abandonment and improper feeding (Adeyemo, 2001). Consequently, breast feeding mothers who develop a positive attitude towards combining childbearing and care with studies in higher institution have an uphill task and most of the time, role conflict Freeman (2009). Some mothers gain entry into the tertiary institution as breast feeding mothers others become breast feeding mothers after coming into the tertiary institution. However, most colleges of education do not make provisions for this category of students. There is hardly any existence of adequate welfare programmes for breast feeding mothers in our colleges of education, a situation that could militate against their effort and their academic performances (Akaeze, 2011). Hence, the need and interest of the researcher to investigate impact of breastfeeding on the academic performance of student mothers in colleges of Education in Plateau State Central Zone with the view of proffering useful solution on how to reduce the impact of these challenges.
1.4. Statement of the Problem
The changing role of women in the society has made it necessary for breast feeding mothers to combine childcare, homecare, career and studies. This implies that even though the mothers are in school, they will have certain responsibilities to fulfil at home.. The issue at stake is do these women really neglect their family in their quest for knowledge or forget about higher education entirely and stick to the old tradition of keeping the family?
Through observation, it has been found that some female students in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria are breast feeding mothers who have left their babies in the care of other people to pursue higher education. Some even deliver in the course of their study thus the need to combine academic work with nursing the baby. Unfortunately the colleges of education in Nigeria do not have support services for such categories of students. Hensel (2000) points out how difficult it is for women to pursue academic careers and family life. Academic life assumes that people have “uninterrupted” time. Therefore, choosing to become a mother gives the appearance that a woman is unmotivated, less committed, less interested in doing what she must do to get to the next step on the ladder. The research therefore seeks to answer the question, what are then impacts of breastfeeding on the academic performance of student mothers in colleges of Education in Plateau State Central Zone?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of breastfeeding on the academic performance of student mothers in colleges of Education in Plateau State Central Zone.
The objectives of the study are to:
1. Identify the challenges faced by student breast feeding mothers in Colleges of Education in Plateau Central:
2. To find out how student breast feeding mothers cope with the above challenges identified.
3 Find out how breastfeeding influence the academic performance of student mothers.
4 To proffer possible solutions where necessary.
1.4 Research Questions
On the basis of the issues raised, this study sought to answer the following questions.
1. What are the challenges confronting student breast feeding mothers in the areas of child care
2. What are the coping strategies adopted by breast feeding mothers to cope with their academics?
3. How does breastfeeding impact the academic performance of student mothers?
4. What are the possible support system that can reduce these challenges?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H0: There is no significance relationship between breast feeding and academic performance of mothers.
Ha: There is a significance relationship between breast feeding and academic performance of mothers.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Some scholarly works have been done on the role of women in national development and the role conflict they experience as they combine their traditional domestic roles with productive roles. However limited information exists specifically on the challenges student mothers go through as they seek to upgrade themselves academically in the colleges of Education. This study seeks to fill this gap and contribute to the pool of knowledge on the challenges breast feeding mothers face and how it affects their academic performance.
In addition, the findings could be of great importance to breast feeding mothers who wish to further their education. They will get well acquainted with the inherent challenges in continuing education in the tertiary institutions and the possible coping strategies they could adopt to face these challenges.
The findings of the study will not only be useful to the family as a unit but to the nation as a whole in its quest for empowering women through education. The study will serve as a guide to policy makers to formulate policies and programmes that will help ease the challenges breast feeding/child care mothers face in the colleges of education.
It is the wish of all educational institutions to design and deliver programmes that meet the needs and aspirations of different categories of beneficiaries. The findings could therefore serve as a guide to colleges of education in their quest to improve on their programmes. This could occur as the study will serve as a source of information on the challenges confronting the student who are breast feeding mothers and the support services the university must provide to make academic work meaningful to them.
1.7. Scope of the Study
This study covers the impact of breast feeding on the academic performance of student mothers in colleges of Education. It is limited to colleges of education in Plateau State Central Zone. However, despite the fact that the study covers that selected zone of the state, the findings of the study will be generalized to other parts of the state and the country at large.
1.8. Operational Definition of Terms
Influence: Influence is the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If someone influences someone else, they are changing a person or thing in an indirect but important way.
Breastfeeding: It is also known as nursing, and it refers to the feeding of babies and young children with milk from their mothers’ breast.
Academic Performance: Academic performance or “academic achievement” is the extent to which a student has attained his short or long-term educational goals. Completion of educational benchmarks such as NCE and bachelor’s degrees represent academic achievement.






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