Initial infant feeding decisions and duration of breastfeeding in women from English, Arabic and Chinese-speaking backgrounds in Australia.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Breastfeeding review : professional publication of the Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia, 2002, 10 (2), pp. 27 - 32
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Anecdotally, concerns are often expressed about the varying infant feeding decisions among women from different cultural groups. This paper reports the early infant feeding decisions and duration of breastfeeding in 986 women from English, Chinese and Arabic-speaking backgrounds in Sydney during 1997 and 1998. Data were collectedfrom an audit of medical records and through a questionnaire at eight weeks postpartum. Chinese-speaking women were less likely to express an intention to breastfeed and fewer initiated breastfeeding compared with other women. Arabic-speaking women had significantly longer duration rates compared with other women. A greater proportion of the Chinese-speaking women who initiated breastfeeding were still breastfeeding at eight weeks compared with English-speaking women. This study suggests that there are differences in the infant feeding decisions between English, Arabic and Chinese-speaking women. Clinicians need to further understand cultural differences when providing care, education and support in a multicultural context.
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