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Breastfeeding rates and barriers: a report from the State of Qatar

Authors Hendaus MA, Alhammadi AH, Khan S, Osman S, Hamad A

Received 28 December 2017

Accepted for publication 14 March 2018

Published 22 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 467—475

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S161003

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Andrew Yee

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Mohamed A Hendaus,1–3 Ahmed H Alhammadi,1–3 Shabina Khan,1 Samar Osman,1 Adiba Hamad1,2

1Department of Pediatrics, Section of Academic General Pediatrics, Hamad General Corporation, Doha, Qatar; 2Department of Pediatrics, Section of Academic General Pediatrics, Sidra Medicine, Doha, Qatar; 3Department of Clinical Pediatrics, Weill-Cornell Medicine, Doha, Qatar

Objective: The aim of the study was to outline breastfeeding barriers faced by women residing in the State of Qatar.
Methods: A cross-sectional study through a telephone interview was conducted at Hamad Medical Corporation, the only tertiary care and accredited academic institution in the State of Qatar. Mothers of children born between the period of January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in the State of Qatar were contacted.
Results: Of the total 840 mothers who were contacted for the telephone survey, 453 mothers agreed to be interviewed (response rate 53.9%), while 364 (43.3%) did not answer the phone, and 21 (2.5%) answered the phone but refused to participate in the study. The overall breastfeeding initiation rate among the mothers was 96.2%, with 3.8% mothers reporting that they had never breastfed their baby. The percentage of mothers who exclusively breastfed their children in the first 6 months was 24.3%. The most common barriers to breastfeeding as perceived by our participants were the following: perception of lack of sufficient breast milk after delivery (44%), formula is easy to use and more available soon after birth (17.8%), mom had to return to work (16.3%), lack of adequate knowledge about breastfeeding (6.5%), and the concept that the infant did not tolerate breast milk (4.9%).
Conclusion: Exclusive breastfeeding barriers as perceived by women residing in the State of Qatar, a wealthy rapidly developing country, do not differ much from those in other nations. What varies are the tremendous medical resources and the easy and comfortable access to health care in our community. We plan to implement a nationwide campaign to establish a prenatal breastfeeding counseling visit for all expecting mothers.

Keywords: barrier, delineate, breastfeeding, Qatar

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