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Title: Factors influencing mothers' attitudes and behaviour towards infant-feeding in Saudi Arabia : a mixed methods study
Author: Al-Madani, Maha Mohammed
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 1998
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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The decreased exclusive breast-feeding rate and increased mixed feeding methods for infants in Saudi Arabia highlighted a need for investigation. This research was divided into two studies. The purpose of the first study was to examine pregnant Saudi women’s attitudes toward breast-feeding, and their effects on infant feeding behaviour. The second study sought to explore the main factors that influenced mothers’ decision making towards infant feeding. A mixed method design was adapted for this research. The first study (quantitative) was conducted during pregnancy and after delivery to examine expectant mothers’ attitudes and behaviour to infant feeding, using an adaptation of the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS). The first study results led to an interpretative phenomenological design for the second study. The second study revealed that the mothers interviewed in this study went through three stages to make decisions about infant feeding. These were the planning, transient and implementation stages. Each stage was typified by factors that affected breast-feeding initiation and continuation. All three stages were influenced by three social structural factors that formed the context in which the three stages unfolded: the role of the milk formula companies, the role of patriarchy in Saudi Arabia and the role of social networks. To conclude, the findings of this research provide broad knowledge about Saudi mothers’ attitudes and experience of infant feeding and confirm the use of the modified IIFAS (MIIFAS) as a predictor for infant feeding choice at four months post-delivery. The findings also provide insights that might help researchers and practitioners to understand the nature of the problem. The study has implications for both policy and practice for health care professionals in their attempt to improve breast-feeding rates in Saudi Arabia.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available