Perceptions, beliefs and societal factors impacting on exclusive breastfeeding of primiparous mothers: An exploratory study

Fahima Al Harthy, Asma Al Zaabi, Najat Al Ajmi, Afaf Elshiekh, Kamila Al Alawi, Lamia Mahmoud, Mudhar Al Adawi


This study aims to explore the perceptions of Omani primiparous mothers towards exclusive breastfeeding. A qualitative exploratory study was conducted at Royal Hospital between March and November 2020. Purposive sampling was applied to recruit newly delivered mothers and face to face interview was done for data collection. Interview protocol along with prompts was used to guide researchers during the interview. Specific questions were administered to assess mothers’ knowledge of exclusive breastfeeding, sources of information, influencing factors toward exclusive breastfeeding and intention to exclusively breastfeeding. Thematic analysis revealed six themes, namely: the effects of lack of knowledge on the mother perception towards exclusive BF, family members influencing the decision-making process regarding BF, impact of social life on BF practices, the effect of mother’s beliefs on exclusive BF, factor that affect BF practice in early days, mother’s concern regarding emotional support for successful exclusive BF. This study revealed a lack of basic knowledge on exclusive breastfeeding among mothers. Moreover, grandmothers and husbands were found to be the most influential family members on the decision regarding exclusive breastfeeding. Mothers had major concerns regarding milk adequacy in the first few days after delivery and emotional support plays a major role in encouraging exclusive breastfeeding.

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Clinical Nursing Studies
ISSN 2324-7940(Print)   ISSN 2324-7959(Online)

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