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Perception and intent of significant others to promote exclusive breastfeeding is important in understanding their perceived behaviour and their state of mind toward exclusive breastfeeding practice. It also helps to identify what intentions this significant other had toward the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding practice (EBF). This study aimed to determine the perceptions and intentions of significant others to promote exclusive breastfeeding in Umuokanne Community, Imo State, Nigeria. The descriptive study design was employed to elicit information from 245 significant others (mothers of the nursing mother, mothers-in-law and husbands) within the six villages in Umuokanne Community. Instruments for data collection were structured on the questionnaire and focus group discussions (FGDs). And finally, the reliability test was established (r = 0.68) between them. 20 significant others participated in the FGDs. Results of the study revealed that significant others had positive perceptions and indicate readiness towards the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding. 120(80%) of grandmothers and 69(73%) of husbands had positive perceptions on the elements of EBF, 100(100%) of grandmothers and 74(78%) of husbands had positive perceptions of the essential roles to play in the promotion EBF, 75(50%) of grandmothers and 57(60%) of husbands had negatively perceived not giving of colostrum to an infant, early introduction of any feed in less than six months of an infant life, early introduction of fluid to an infant, giving off water and water mixed with medicinal herbs/roots, were not believed to be a barriers to EBF promotion. The description could be based on three key concepts namely, perceived insufficiency of breast milk, low income and cultural practices. Age, education, income and parity were also statistically significant (P = 0.05). However, 136(91%) of grandmothers and 78(82%) of husbands showed a positive intention towards the promotion of EBF practice. Hence, this study concluded that a positive perception shows the willingness to take action and a positive intention indicate readiness toward the promotion of EBF. Therefore, there is need to expand the current strategies employed in the promotion of EBF to include significant others and their cultural perspectives.
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