Infant feeding beliefs and practices of Arabic mothers in Australia

Journal article


Rehayem, Amanda, Taki, Sarah, Brown, Nicola and Denney-Wilson, Elizabeth. (2020). Infant feeding beliefs and practices of Arabic mothers in Australia. Women and Birth. 33(4), pp. 391-399. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.07.004
AuthorsRehayem, Amanda, Taki, Sarah, Brown, Nicola and Denney-Wilson, Elizabeth
Abstract

Background
Culturally sensitive care in the health care system is imperative for optimal outcomes of all patients, especially women and their infants. For Arabic mothers in Australia, there is minimal research exploring their beliefs that could impact on their infant feeding decisions and practices.

Aim
The aim of this study was to explore the experiences, knowledge and influences around infant feeding in Arabic women in Australia.

Method
A qualitative descriptive approach was used. Focus groups were conducted with Arabic women in community organisations (Catholic & Islamic) in Sydney. A thematic analysis was undertaken. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) was also used to measure maternal attitudes towards infant feeding.

Findings
A total of 17 women participated in three focus groups. Themes relating to infant feeding were identified, including (1) sources of knowledge and education, particularly, where mothers obtained their infant feeding knowledge, and how this was influenced; (2) cultural beliefs related to the support and direction of family members.; (3) religious beliefs surrounding the continuation of infant feeding practices; (4) social and personal themes as an influence on infant feeding decisions and practices, and (5) factors associated with cessation of exclusive breastfeeding, including the lack of support from health care professionals.

Conclusion
The Arabic women in this study have expressed their need for further culturally sensitive care surrounding infant feeding knowledge and practices, and for that care to be situated in their community. Further intervention-based studies in the community focusing on culturally competent and sensitive care are recommended.

Keywordsbreastfeeding; infant feeding; beliefs; culture; arabic
Year2020
JournalWomen and Birth
Journal citation33 (4), pp. 391-399
PublisherElsevier Science Ltd
ISSN1871-5192
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.07.004
PubMed ID31353232
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85069672405
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range391-399
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online26 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted08 Jul 2019
Deposited13 Dec 2021
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