How do modern parents deal with cultural beliefs about breastfeeding? A qualitative study

02 September 2018
16 min read
Volume 26 · Issue 9

The majority of infant morbidity and mortality occurs in developing countries (UNICEF, 2018). Indonesia is one of the countries with high infant morbidity and mortality rates (Indonesian Ministry of Health, 2015). The primary cause of infant death is contraction of an infectious disease, which may be prevented by providing an appropriate infant feeding regimen (UNICEF, 2018). Breastfeeding is a cheap and easy way to reduce infant morbidity and mortality rates (UNICEF, 2018).

Breastfeeding is known to be the best nutrition for infants. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that every mother breastfeeds exclusively for 6 months and then to continue breastfeeding for up to 2 years (WHO, 2017); however, the exclusive breastfeeding rate in Indonesia is only 45% (Indonesian Ministry of Health, 2015). Previous studies have highlighted the effects of cultural beliefs on breastfeeding practice (Osman et al, 2009; Sharma et al, 2016), and have shown that exclusive breastfeeding practices among Indonesian mothers are affected by cultural beliefs related to breastfeeding (Rejeki, 2010).

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