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Cross-Cultural Research on Breastfeeding

1. What are the key distinctions between breastfeeding practices of Australian and Iranian women? What factors account for these differences? Consider cultural factors and the potential influence of such on the decision to breastfeed/not breastfeed.

2. How might breastfeeding initiation and duration rates be improved within each of these countries? Be sure to consider each country separately.

3. What, if any, are the implications of this study's findings for increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration among women in the U.S.?

Please help with the questions in reference to the attached article.

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RESPONSE:

1. What are the key distinctions between breastfeeding practices of Australian and Iranian women? What factors account for these differences? Consider cultural factors and the potential influence of such on the decision to breastfeed/not breastfeed.

The study found several key distinctions between the two countries on breastfeeding practices, which appeared to negatively influence breastfeeding practices in Australia (e.g. lower than in Iran) including:

(1) A comparatively inadequate national program for the promotion of breastfeeding;
(2) Less uptake of the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative;
(3) Less supported return to paid work; and
(4) Religious and cultural issues (Zareai, O'Brien & Fallon, 2007).

Cultural differences include several factors which may affect breastfeeding practices;

(1) Different in breast feeding norms. For example, Zareai, O'Brien and Fallon (2007) report that in contrast to Australia, breastfeeding is the norm for infant feeding in Iran, thereby assuring that breastfeeding mothers have greater access to practical breastfeeding knowledge and peer support (Hunt 2006).

(2) Difference in religious motivations. For example, Zareai, O'Brien and Fallon (2007) that there is also religious motivation for breastfeeding in Iran, where the vast majority of the population are of the Islamic faith e.g. The Holy Quran specifies that mothers should breastfeed their offspring for two complete years and mentions that every newborn infant has the right to be breastfed. While breastfeeding is clearly encouraged however, no blame is placed on the mother should she decide to wean.

(3) Difference in Mass Media Promotions. Mass media also plays an important role in promoting breastfeeding in Iran. Television programs and articles in newspapers and popular magazines commonly discuss the benefits of breastfeeding and the adverse effects of formulas and other breastmilk substitutes (Zareai, O'Brien & Fallon, 2007).

(4) Difference in Confidence Level in Mothers. In addition to providing motivation to breastfeed and access to support, this greater visibility and prevalence of breastfeeding in Iran may have a positive effect on the woman's confidence in her ability to breastfeed successfully, a factor which has been repeatedly shown to increase breastfeeding duration (O'Brien & Fallon 2005, as cited in (Zareai, O'Brien & Fallon, 2007).

(5) Difference in Rate of Cigarette Smoking. Finally, cigarette smoking is less common among Iranian women. There is a consistent negative association between maternal smoking and breastfeeding duration and mothers who smoke cigarettes are ...

Solution Summary

In reference to cross-cultural research on breastfeeding e.g. Australia vs Iran, this solution addresses the three questions in 1,588 words.

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