Breast feeding has been known from ages past to be an incomparable method of providing the best food for the healthy development and growth of new born babies. It also has a distinctive emotional, psychological and biological impact on both the mother and baby. Breast feeding is less expensive and has been traced to help in decreasing the risk of infection ,asthma,obesity,type 1 & 2 diabetes, leukemia, SIDs, necrotizing enterocolities (NEC), mortality and morbidity rate in children .
In mothers breastfeeding can help in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, postpartum depression, ovarian, breast and other forms of cancer. Regardless of all the benefits of breast feeding, the rate and duration has been consistently low worldwide due to some cultural, economic, social and professional reasons (WHO, 2013). Problem Statement The author noted a clinical problem in Lebanon, which is increase mortality and morbidity rate as high as 27/1000 births.
The death that occurs in children under the age of 5 is associated with poor nutrition and health status of mother and babies. The breastfeeding initiation rate has been inadequately low and varies between 63. 8% and 96% . Mother who exclusively breasted for less than one month were 58. 3% and 6 months old infant were 10. 1% – 4. 1% and only about 27. 1% breastfed for one year. More importantly the author noted that there was no government organization to promote and support breastfeeding mothers, and postpartum mothers are only entitled to forty (40) days maternity leave.
The author attributed a lot of predisposing factors to the low prevalence and duration of breast feeding, giving birth by caesarian section, low socio-economic status, religion of parents, and having a pediatrician who is a male. Some hospital practices like separation of babies from mothers, introduction of formula, water, sucrose at birth instead of breast milk. Most mothers look at breastfeeding as torture to be tolerated for the sake of their newborn baby. Possibly, if mothers are aware of the benefits of breast feeding for their own health, they will be less ikely to leave when they run into problems.
The author noted that all these factors have been previously cross-sectioned except exploring mother’s experiences or perception towards breastfeeding. Purpose of this Study The purpose of this study is to use qualitative method to identify barriers, promote and support breast feeding among Lebanon women, and explore their perception and experience during breastfeeding. Another purpose was to encourage health workers to provide proper information and also have a good understanding of management of breastfeeding.
Some of the question that was design to be answer was ‘Tell me about your previous experiences with breast feeding? Tell me what motivated you to want to breast feed? Tell me about your perception on breastfeeding your baby? Tell me how long you intend to breast feed? The research questions were answered by the participants during the interview and they were related to the purpose of the study (Nabulsi, M. , 2011). Literature Review This research study was approved by the “Institutional Review Board at AUBMC, and hospital administrators of HDF and SGH”.
The author conducted this research using qualitative method to explore postpartum mother’s experience; feelings and perception about breast feeding. The participants were recruited using theoretical sampling in the three different hospitals and they all had a full term delivery of healthy babies. The first interview was done by the researcher using focus group discussion with 5 open-ended questions between November and December 2007. The second section was conducted by the researcher with 10 postpartum mothers who were shared into group of 3 to 4 in each group.
This interview was done in “Arabic” language for about 60 to 90 minutes and it was recorded in tape and was transcribed. The second stage was done with in-depth interview with 36 mothers between January and May 2008 with 12 members from AUBMC, 10 from HDF, and 14 from SGH. The researcher followed them up for up to one year or until breastfeeding was stopped. Reference point interviews were done with each of the participants for about 30 to 60 minutes which were recorded and audio-tape before they were discharge from the hospital.
The follow-up interviews were done by telephone and face to face in the participants home every month for the first 6 months, then once every other month for another 6 months at each time the interview lasted for about 10 to 30 minutes. These follow up were done to discover breastfeeding barriers, mother’s experiences, perception, feelings and natural factors that may interfere with their decision to successfully breastfeed. They were all asked about their current status with breast-feeding and the reason for still breastfeeding or stopping if they did.
According to the author in spite of their knowledge of breast feeding benefits, most of the participants also expressed some personal fear of excessive weight gain, change in shape of their breast, cultural belief that their milk is bad or could cause harm to the baby, breast feeding is so tiring and exhausting, pain, not enough breast milk, infant constantly crying, sleep deprivation. The author concluded that negative experiences during breast feeding seemed to have a significant impact on mother’s decision to stop breastfeeding( Nabulsi, M. , 2011).
The author cited about 22 relevant journal articles and literature review and only about three were less than five years which is very normal in a qualitative research. There was no adequate information in the literature review to build a logical augment and no weakness was indicated during the study. The perspective from which the study was developed is from the women of Lebanon who were consistently experiencing low breast feeding rate and the author did not use grounded theory qualitative inquiry, and no diagram or framework was developed from this study.
In conclusion breast feeding is still the most natural and acceptable food for babies worldwide. Making an attempt to increase the initiation and duration of breast feeding without significant change in the feelings and perception of mothers towards breast feeding may result in more mothers having negative experiences and consequently reduces the rate of breastfeeding. There will be great need for health professional to prepare pregnant mothers on how to successfully breastfeed and this will help improve their confidence and willpower (McInnes, R. Chambers, J. , 2008). More education will need to be done with certain population including low-income mothers, ethnic and cultural group and educating nurses and doctors in breastfeeding management. Finally there will be need to develop government policies and program that will assist mothers that are breastfeeding, extending postpartum leave, providing child care at work places for mothers. However in Lebanon further research is required to assess the efficiency of future interventions in regards to breast feeding.