Pak-Gorstein, Hag and Graham discuss several effects culture may have on breast feeding but point out several times that there are significant differences, even within the same culture. 1 For instance, foreign-born mothers, particularly from low-income countries, generally have higher breast feeding rates and breast feed longer than do U.S. born mothers from the same culture.Estimated Reading Time: 9 mins
Cultural aspects of breastfeeding. Historical, family, cultural and ethnic background shaped their breastfeeding experience for many of the women. Several talked about the bottle feeding culture of previous generations in the United Kingdom and how they hoped that their daughters would go on to breastfeed because of the example that they had set. One woman talked about the divide between the breastfeeding and bottle feeding culture …
Humans are the only species that also looks at breasts within a cultural perspective, and that perspective is where the debate of breastfeeding occurs. There is really no debate that if given the option to breastfeed, breastfeeding is the best choice for the development of infants due to the fact that breast milk has been adapted for the human physique.
Oct 01, 2015 · In some African cultures certain herbs are rubbed on the breast to increase milk and in some regions mothers are given special diets for 40 days. Chile foods are usually restricted but one African tribe actually encourages the new mother to have …Estimated Reading Time: 13 mins
The study determined maternal dietary diversity, breastfeeding and, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices and identified reasons for such behavior in five rural communities in South Africa, in the context of cultural beliefs and social aspects.Cited by: 10
In some rural towns in Japan, it is common to place figurines and pictures of a breastfeeding woman to help increase a nursing mother’s milk supply. In some developing cultures, colostrum is considered to be a sign of infection or poison and is not given to a newborn baby – mothers will actually express this milk and throw it away!Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins
Nov 02, 2009 · Cultural beliefs and local traditions are important in determining health behavior in general. Studies of feeding practices in different countries have shown a large variety of beliefs and traditions related to breastfeeding [ 5 – 7, 11 – 16 ]. While some of these can encourage breastfeeding, others may discourage it.Cited by: 92
Cultivating better breastfeeding habits means respecting cultural beliefs while supporting families to consider evidence based best practices. It relies on forming relationships, slowing down the conversations to uncover the beliefs and circumstances unique to each mother, and utilizing a series of small steps of change to uncover what might be possible.
Jan 05, 2015 · Breastfeeding has never been without cultural commentary. Breast milk is arguably one of the most provocative of bodily fluids—we do not feel as passionate about urine, sweat, snot, or tears—and yet breast milk is a biggie. Since the beginning of time, breast milk has been revered…and has been a substance of great contention.Author: Healthfoundationsbirthcenter
Oct 30, 2012 · Other beliefs are more of a struggle. One study of 120 cultures showed that 50 withheld the infant from the breast for 48 hours or more due to the belief that colostrum was “dirty”, “old”, or “not real milk”. In central Karnataka in India, 35% of infants were still not breastfeeding at 48 hours, yet at 1 month 94% were.Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins
Men seeking progeny and heirs became great critics of lactating wives. Already have an account? All women throughout time have done their best, given the constraints of work, responsibility, familial and social expectations, desire, health, and ability. A support group can help ensure access to these champions, but if an outsider implements it, the group can feel forced or alien to the community. Dates contain many vitamins and minerals including iron and are high in fiber. Look for a shared experience—whether that is a shared love of chocolate or disliking crowds—and build from there. Wet-nursing or nursing a baby who you have not given birth to is considered acceptable in traditional Japanese, Chinese, and Thai cultures, but only if the babies nursed by the one mother are of the same sex. In addition to its health benefits, breastfeeding has significant economic and environmental benefits. They called asking about what they should and should not be eating while they were breastfeeding. Public Health Nutrition. Instead, extended family members help the mother and baby and may often hire a maid for the early days. Anissa 15 September at Oh in front of others? Share this content. In our population, this concern was related to both the crying of the infant, as well as the resolution of breast engorgement, which was interpreted by the mother as a sign for concern. Having big families and frequent visitors in the early days can lead to disruption of breastfeeding because latching and positioning may need a good deal of attention. Email will not be published required. Discussing and deciding weaning together with the mother is not a sin. Pickett, E. This variability in breastfeeding practices is significantly influenced by cultural beliefs, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, education, urbanization, modernization, and local feeding practices [ 5 — 7 ]. Many babies from countries outside the U. The belief that the evil eye could harm a mother's milk has been described in the literature [ 11 ]. Washington DC. Not a member? Many Muslims take it as part of a healthier lifestyle although it should not be taken during pregnancy. There are a number of cultural beliefs that could potentially discourage breastfeeding among Lebanese women. A common belief was that maternal abdominal pain could be transmitted to the infant through the breast milk and result in colic. The study team therefore decided to investigate this issue further by collecting information on all calls related to breastfeeding that had any reference to traditional customs or cultural beliefs for further analysis. Or close male relatives? Before jumping in, host a focus group where you speak informally to the community and invite them to engage in the effort. It is almost impossible to feed without showing a little skin and unfortunately for many Muslims this can pose such a difficulty that bottle-feeding seems like the easier option. Pak-Gorstein, Hag and Graham discuss several effects culture may have on breast feeding but point out several times that there are significant differences, even within the same culture. Yes, at least one month, it. Cultural beliefs and practices can have an important impact on breastfeeding. Study participation was limited to healthy first-time mothers who delivered at term during the study period and had no maternal or infant complications. This was noted in another study on breastfeeding in first-time mothers when women identified their own mothers, their partners and their partner's mothers as the main sources of discouragement of breastfeeding [ 23 ]. It was a German Public Hospital that they have a sort of agreement if you like with the British Forces overseas so the majority of the nursing staff spoke English. Publication types Research Support, Non-U. By the s in Europe, over half of all women were sending their babies off to be nursed by other women paid for such a service. References 1. However, in Arab countries it is still widely practiced and Arab mothers may first look for a wet nurse within their extended families. Staff members were Although they share a language, the customs and practices may be quite different. It is a foreign concept to many that milk can be pumped and stored for feeding at another time when the mother is not present. But they still breastfeed? More information and software credits. My baby always seems hungry, so I must not be producing enough milk.
Breastfeeding has never been without cultural commentary. Breast milk is arguably one of the most provocative of bodily fluids—we do not feel as passionate about urine, sweat, snot, or tears—and yet breast milk is a biggie. Since the beginning of time, breast milk has been revered…and has been a substance of great contention. The history of breastfeeding is fascinating, especially seen in the context of our current culture about breastfeeding. Breastmilk has been revered since ancient times. In Classic Greece, the milk of a Greek goddess was thought to confer immortality to those who drank it. The Mother Mary was exempt from sex, pain in childbirth, and perhaps many bodily functions at least as the story goes —and yet she breastfed. Baby Jesus at the breast of Mary has been one of the most popular and powerful artistic images for millennia. In ancient Egypt, wet nurses were exalted, despite their station as servants. They were invited to royal events. The children of royal wet nurses were considered kin to the king. In the great tale of Odysseus, only two individuals recognized the protagonist after his long absence from home—his loyal dog and his wet nurse. History has long recognized and exalted the special nature of the breastfeeding relationship. But history has also complicated the breastfeeding relationship by adding cultural and ethical baggage to what is a biological function. It all comes highly charged. And this high charge is nothing new. We think of formula as a relatively new invention, but seeking breastmilk substitutes has long been a human enterprise however unsuccessful many of those attempts. Breast-shaped clay bottles have been found in ancient sites in Europe that date back to BC. Some historians believe that cows and goats were actually domesticated for the reason of providing a human breast milk substitute to infants. Babies may have suckled directly from these animals or been given human-fashioned devices very roughly akin to our modern baby bottles. Cow and goat milk substitutes largely fell out of favor when people learned that babies do not thrive on these human milk alternatives. Records from 18 th century Europe, for example, show that babies given milk from these animals early on suffered greater rates of diarrhea and death compared to those fed human breast milk. This practice—called wet-nursing—is ancient and was one of the few ancient professions open exclusively to women. While not a common or accepted practice in the West today, wet nurses were once so popular that they had to advertise their services and compete for business. In 16 th century England, how-to books were published for new parents about how to hire a wet nurse and what attributes she should possess. In Renaissance Florence, wet nurses gathered in public squares to sing songs in promotion and celebration of their services. The use of wet nurses began in the upper classes; but, like many elite trends, it trickled down to the masses. Formula use followed a similar trend. By the s in Europe, over half of all women were sending their babies off to be nursed by other women paid for such a service. In , less than 10 percent of all Paris-born babes were nursed by their mothers, according to one historian. Expensive wet nurses even sent their babies off to be nursed by cheaper wet nurses so they could keep their supply for paying customers. Why such popularity in wet nurses? Historians postulate many reasons for the rave. Some argue that men did not wish for their wives to breast feed for a gamut of reasons. Men seeking progeny and heirs became great critics of lactating wives. There were also superstitions that intercourse somehow tainted breastmilk, another reason for a lack of support for breastfeeding. As with so many popular trends, there came a backlash against the use of wet nurses. Sound familiar? In , the French declared that women who did not breastfeed were ineligible for welfare. In , the Germans took it a step further and made it a legal requirement that all healthy women breastfeed their babes. By the early s, elite women were bragging about their commitment to breastfeeding. Ah how the tides do change. Though wet nursing has never regained popularity, similar themes have risen and met their demise in times since. The 20 th century equivalent came with the advent of infant formula. Elite men and women again led the charge. Formula has historically been both hailed and rejected. At one time, formula was considered superior to breast milk in purity and nutrition. Later it was condemned as a harmful substitute for human milk. Other arguments swirl around these, many of which we know well for we still swim in these cultural waters. The sway between breastfeeding and formula use has been striking in the United States in the last hundred years or so. Prior to , most all mothers nursed their babies.
Understanding and addressing local beliefs and customs can help clinicians to provide more culturally appropriate counselling about breastfeeding. Yes definitely, Ramadan it comes once in a year when all the Muslims are supposed to fast between dawn and dusk, it's a spiritual thing it's keeps, it keeps away from bad acts, bad speech, bad stuffs that we do night and day, watching TV, dinner. Clinicians should attempt to elicit such beliefs and address them during the clinical encounter as a means to reassure mothers and encourage them to continue breastfeeding. Several women wanted to introduce formula feeding because they felt their infants were not getting enough milk. Discussing and deciding weaning together with the mother is not a sin. So are most mothers that you are seeing breastfeeding? Empower each mother by:. Women throughout all of history have been subject to the cultural ideals and mores of the current day. Concerns that were expressed spontaneously in calls to the hotline were recorded. And this high charge is nothing new. Meet Our Team. After verbal consent was obtained, information about the woman was collected including intent to breastfeed, gender and birth weight of the newborn, age of the mother, and type of delivery. She said that the Jewish culture is very pro-breastfeeding and the women are well looked after in Several cultures — traditional groups in Papua New Guinea and the Gogo tribe of Tanzania among them — emphasize the need for the woman to be celibate during breastfeeding. It wasn't actually during a service it was in a festival there was a party going on for kids and I just went off into the corner and I felt comfortable doing that. But I mean when, when we brought her home she, she was trained, you know, I can't think of any other way to describe it and we just carried on in exactly the same fashion and I didn't need to feed on demand, I just fed at seven o'clock in the morning, eleven o'clock in the morning, three o'clock in the afternoon, seven o'clock in the evening and, and, you know, so it went on. Potential savings from breastfeeding in the US alone have been estimated to be around 3. Women either believed they could not produce adequate quantities of milk to sustain the needs of a newborn, or that their milk was not nutritious. All women throughout time have done their best, given the constraints of work, responsibility, familial and social expectations, desire, health, and ability. Int Breastfeed J 4, 12 The 20 th century equivalent came with the advent of infant formula. This is because in a Quranic verse Mary was told to eat dates at the time of giving birth to Jesus. We noted that women whose families held those beliefs were under significant pressure not to even attempt breastfeeding. Like learn from a relative or something like that, like that. A medical professional who knows about these practices can help to explain the dangers sensitively. Although the researchers live and provide healthcare for patients in Lebanon, they were not aware of many of the beliefs and practices that were discovered through this study. The history of breastfeeding is fascinating, especially seen in the context of our current culture about breastfeeding. You can print to paper or to a PDF file. In ancient Egypt, wet nurses were exalted, despite their station as servants. Previous Page. Article Google Scholar 9. You talked about the hill-tribes? She described the routines in the German hospital where she gave birth. Gender roles, social support and attitudes of friends and relatives towards breastfeeding have also been shown to affect a mother's intended duration of breastfeeding [ 3 ]. Osman, H. Some mothers with children spaced very close together will choose to make up the fast after all of their children have weaned. Thank for this article. The opinions of Muslim scholars fluctuate, but generally range between two and seven years. The hotline was available to mothers for the first four months postpartum and patterns of usage, as well as questions asked were recorded. No identifying information was recorded. Breastfeeding: Physiological and Cultural Influences. Reassuring mothers that they tried their best is what counts and can be a helpful way to put things into perspective. Fay Bosman 28 November at And, and I see her point I mean, I don't mind to breastfeed my baby where he needs to be breastfed, and if he's hungry and you have the right to go to a restaurant, my baby has exactly the same right, and I'm there so. Finding a balance between mothers' income, dietary diversity, cultural beliefs, breastfeeding and considering life of lactating mothers so that they won't feel burdened and isolated when breastfeeding and taking care of their children is crucial. I wanted, you know, I wanted breastfeeding to be lovely and beautiful and, I'm an idealist I know I am and, I think that the thought of it being painful or, the baby not sleeping or, you know, nobody else being able to sort of participate in the care of the baby, all of these things, you know, they're all reasons not to, if you like, so when you think about things like that you do start to think, 'Oh am I going to be able to actually do this? Journal of Human Lactation, 20 1 , I mean certainly a lot of my Jewish friends have breastfeed, have breastfed but then I've enjoyed breastfeeding but then I've also got Jewish friends who haven't. References 1.
Breastfeeding is important to me for several reasons. One reason is my religion. As I read more about Islam and breastfeeding, I came across some controversial issues and realized that many cultural practices get mixed and confused with religious practices. As with any religion, some Muslims will adhere strictly to the religious teachings as defined by the Quran and Sunnah [sayings, practices and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad]. Other Muslims will take a more relaxed approach to the religion but may have heavy cultural influences. Helping Muslim mothers adopt good breastfeeding practices requires an understanding of the differences between the religious basis of breastfeeding and the cultural practices followed by some Muslims. Most Muslims see breastfeeding as the God Allah given right of the child according to the rules of Shariah Islamic Law. The religious laws regarding breastfeeding are all from the Quran and give parents a degree of flexibility and choice. Following the teachings of the Quran, Muslim mothers often aim to breastfeed their babies until the age of two years. However, it is not mandatory to breastfeed a child for two years if both the parents agree to wean the baby for a legitimate reason. When Muslim mothers face breastfeeding problems, they may feel very disappointed and scared that they might not be able to reach their goal of breastfeeding for two years and often may experience feelings of guilt. Reassuring mothers that they tried their best is what counts and can be a helpful way to put things into perspective. In many modern cultures the duration of breastfeeding is much shorter, often ending after one year. There is a huge variation in practice regarding the maximum age limit for breastfeeding, depending on which school of Islamic jurisprudence the family chooses to follow. The opinions of Muslim scholars fluctuate, but generally range between two and seven years. This means that any mothers who prefer a more natural weaning approach have the flexibility to do so. In some cultures extended breastfeeding is frowned upon. For example in the sub-Indian cultures it may be acceptable for a girl to be nursed for longer, but not for a boy. Weaning methods are heavily influenced by cultural practices in Muslim families, as there is no specific mention of how to wean in the Quran. Bangladeshi families may have a weaning celebration at six months when solids are first introduced by giving the baby six rice grains. In some African-Muslim tribal cultures Hausa cultural belief , babies are expected to have water as well as breast milk from birth and mothers may even have their colostrum expressed before nursing their baby. Some India-Pakistan cultures also used to have this belief in the past. There is a vast range of practices within different tribal groups. In addition, breastfeeding while pregnant may seem strange and unacceptable in some cultures. Mothers may rush to wean their child if they become pregnant thinking that it is unsafe or that the milk will be spoiled. This originates from the Hadith sayings of the Prophet. Sometimes honey or cane sugar is used instead. A medical professional who knows about these practices can help to explain the dangers sensitively. In Islam fathers play an important role in breastfeeding. Many of the responsibilities of fathers are mentioned in the Quran. Key responsibilities of a father include the following:. Instead, extended family members help the mother and baby and may often hire a maid for the early days. Co-sleeping is very common and in many cultures the father will sleep in a different room for the first few weeks. Wet nursing was a common practice in pre-Islamic Arabia and at the time of the Prophet Muhammad. He was breastfed by his own mother and two different wet nurses. If the mother is unable to breastfeed, she and the father can mutually agree to let a wet nurse feed the child. This demonstrates the preference in Islam of feeding the baby human milk instead of animal milk. This aspect of Islamic culture has been lost in most Western countries and many Muslim mothers in the West who have problems breastfeeding usually turn to formula milk without considering a wet nurse. However, in Arab countries it is still widely practiced and Arab mothers may first look for a wet nurse within their extended families. Muslims who have adopted children may try their best to breastfeed the baby because under Islamic Shariah law, breastfeeding an infant three to five or more feeds when the child is under two years gives the adopted child the rights of a birth child. It also makes the child a mahram an unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse is considered incestuous. For a Muslim mother who wears the hijab veil , this is usually very important to her since she is not required to veil herself in front of her adopted son when he reaches puberty, and this will give her more freedom. Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. However, those with sound excuses are exempt from fasting, until the reason for which they have been exempted has passed. When Ramadan falls in the summer, the fasts are very long and many mothers worry about how they will manage to fast and continue breastfeeding. However, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are exempt from fasting according to the Hadith. Some cultures interpret the Hadith very generally and will not fast at all if breastfeeding. In other cases and in Arab cultures in particular, mothers will only miss fasts in cases of hardship. They will often continue to fast during breastfeeding unless it has a negative effect on them or their babies.