A new study aims to explore the barriers that women face during breastfeeding in Dubai. The study recruited 457 women from maternity wards in ten hospitals in four Emirates. The detailed recruitment method is published, but basic inclusion criteria included being literate, an expatriate, and aged 18 to 45. Women were also excluded if they had a medical condition that would prevent them from breastfeeding.
Obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding:
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding (EB) among Emirati women. We conducted a survey of mothers in the immediate postpartum and six-month postpartum periods using validated tools to assess sociodemographic characteristics, breastfeeding practices, BSE, and postpartum depression and anxiety. We also looked at factors associated with continued breastfeeding, such as the mother’s age, unemployment, and perceived support for breastfeeding.
Social desirability bias:
Although there have been some improvements in exclusive breastfeeding rates in the UAE, there are still many barriers that women face. This is even though there are high initiation rates. One reason for this may be a lack of awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. Other barriers may include employment, family responsibilities, or other factors. Further efforts are needed to overcome these barriers. One important step is to improve public policies regarding breastfeeding.
Many factors can influence a mother’s decision to breastfeed her baby, and physical exhaustion can be a significant factor. It can interfere with daily functioning and impair the mother’s ability to interact with her child. It can also increase the mother’s stress level, which can affect her ability to parent.
Women in the United Arab Emirates face several barriers to breastfeeding their babies. Some of them may be related to maternal depression. The Program in Support of Moms is one initiative aimed at addressing these barriers by improving the mental health of pregnant and lactating women. Improved mental health can positively impact breastfeeding outcomes.
Postnatal depression, breastfeeding barriers, and family support are all important elements of the breastfeeding journey. However, breastfeeding rates in the MENA region are lower than those worldwide. Therefore, it is necessary to explore the modifiable factors that affect breastfeeding and identify the most effective interventions in the region. This study examined the maternal predictors of exclusive and any breastfeeding, as well as the influence of family and friends on breastfeeding decisions.