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Breast-feeding habits among Jewish and Arab mothers in Hadera County, Israel

Breast-feeding habits among Jewish and Arab mothers in Hadera County, Israel

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 17(1): 86-91

A survey of breast-feeding habits of Jewish and Arab mothers was carried out in Hadera county in Israel. Jewish mothers breast-fed their babies approximately 3 months, while Arab mothers did so for 5 months. The rate of breast-feeding among Jewish and Arab mothers was 84% and 94.4%, respectively. The results indicated that education, previous experience, enjoyment, husband's encouragement, previous information about the importance of breast-feeding, belief that breast-feeding strengthens the mother-child relationship, and the convenience of breast- over bottle-feeding were all factors that had an impact on breast-feeding habits among Jewish but not Arab mothers. Breast-feeding as a means of birth control, religion, and impairment of the breast's shape were factors that had no effect on either Arab or Jewish mothers. Complications during pregnancy and cesarean delivery decrease the probability of breast-feeding in Arab and Jewish mothers. Jewish mothers stopped breast-feeding because of insufficient milk, fatigue, work obligations, and physician's recommendation. Among Arab mothers the main reasons were insufficient milk, physician's recommendation, baby's refusal, and nipple problems. Jewish mothers who decided not to breast-feed stated that the reasons were previous experience with insufficient milk, nipple problems, and unpleasant feelings. The few Arab mothers who did not breast-feed cited medical or nipple problems.

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Accession: 008244869

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PMID: 8350217

DOI: 10.1097/00005176-199307000-00013

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