Sociocultural Factors that Affect Kuwaiti Mothers' Decision to Stop Breastfeeding
The major aim of this study is to investigate the knowledge of Kuwaiti women about the impact of BF on both mothers' and infants' health conditions and to describe the beliefs of Kuwaiti women about factors that cause insufficient breast milk. It also aims to examine the influence of sociocultural factors that affect Kuwaiti mothers' decision to stop BF. A sample of 870 Kuwaiti mothers came from six Kuwaiti governorates were selected. The questionnaire was used that consisted of six sections, containing closed-ended questions to measure the identified variables (sociocultural information, knowledge of the impact of exclusive BF on infants' health condition, knowledge of the impact of exclusive BF on mothers' health condition, and factors that caused cessation of exclusive BF). SPSS (version 24.0) was used for data analysis. A t-test and an ANOVA were the major statistical procedures. The current study reveals that the majority of Kuwaiti mothers combine BF and formula feeding and that few practiced exclusive BF. Moreover, findings show a significant association between knowledge about the benefits of BF for infants' health and some of the mothers' sociocultural variables, such as the mothers' residential area. Kuwaiti mothers' employment status also has a significant impact on their knowledge of the benefits of BF for infants' health, with mothers who are employed having a better knowledge than mothers who are housewives. Additionally, the majority of Kuwaiti mothers believed that BF strengthens the bonding between mother and newborn and that this attachment encourages them to continue BF. Also, the main causes of stopping BF among Kuwaiti mothers were dry breast milk and nonflow from the breasts. BF is optimal for infants' and mothers' physiological and psychological well-being. The present study demonstrates that only few Kuwaiti mothers practiced exclusive BF and that the majority practiced combined BF and formula feeding.
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