Breastfeeding beliefs and practices of African women living in Brisbane and Perth, Australia

Gallegos, Danielle, Vicca, Natalie, & Streiner, Samantha (2015) Breastfeeding beliefs and practices of African women living in Brisbane and Perth, Australia. Maternal And Child Nutrition, 11(4), pp. 727-736.

[img] Accepted Version (PDF 328kB)
Administrators only until October 2016 | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of breastfeeding among refugee women from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo living in two major capital cities in Australia. Participants were recruited from their relevant community associations and via a snowballing technique. Thirty-one women took part in either individual interviews or facilitated group discussions to explore their experiences of breastfeeding in their home country and in Australia. Thematic analysis revealed four main themes: cultural breastfeeding beliefs and practices; stigma and shame around breastfeeding in public; ambivalence towards breastfeeding and breastfeeding support. Women who originated from these four African countries highlighted a significant desire for breastfeeding and an understanding that it was the best method for feeding their infants. Their breastfeeding practices in Australia were a combination of practices maintained from their countries of origin and those adopted according to Australian cultural norms. They exemplified the complexity of breastfeeding behaviour and the relationship between infant feeding with economic status and the perceived social norms of the host country. The results illustrate the need for policy makers and health professionals to take into consideration the environmental, social and cultural contexts of the women who are purportedly targeted for the promotion of breastfeeding.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 56709
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Acculturation, African women
DOI: 10.1111/mcn.12034
ISSN: 1740-8709
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Public Nutrition Intervention (111104)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons
Deposited On: 30 Jan 2013 04:53
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2015 05:48

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page