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Promoting breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia
Alkhizi, Layla M.
The primary objective of this project was to provide education to Saudi Arabian mothers regarding the benefits of breastfeeding, to refute myths regarding breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia, and to encourage mothers and pregnant women in Saudi Arabia to breastfeed their infants for two years. The project entailed the development, implementation, and process evaluation of an educational intervention for Saudi women. Specifically, a brochure regarding the benefits of breastfeeding was developed and given to Saudi women along with an overview of the material in the brochure. The brochure displayed both visuals and an explanation of benefits of breastfeeding. Twenty-five pregnant (n = 15) and new mothers (n = 10 ) were recruited from a hospital in Saudi Arabia to participate in this project. Both the hospital and the majority of mothers approached were very receptive to this project. An informal conversation was conducted with each mother while reviewing the information about breastfeeding with them. As part of the discussion, mothers shared their perception towards breastfeeding, and women identified any concerns regarding breastfeeding and the main problems that prevented them from breastfeeding previous children. The program was successfully implemented with high fidelity and was well received by both the hospital and mothers. The discussions with mothers also revealed that women in Saudi Arabia are eager to breastfeed their children, but there are some barriers that prevent them from doing so. There were three themes that emerged based on the participants’ responses to the questions posed during the conversation with them. The themes were: (1) positive opinions of breastfeeding without challenges, (2) positive opinions of breastfeeding but faced some challenges, and (3) negative opinions of breastfeeding. Some themes were further divided into sub themes viewed as challenges. Implications for promoting breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia based on both the receptiveness of hospitals and the challenges new mothers identified regarding breastfeeding are discussed.
Child and Family Development
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2016.
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