BHS 414 CrossCultural Health Perspectives Mod 4 SLP

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Module 4 SLP Breastfeeding practices in western culture Health Problem: Breastfeeding practices in western culture (low breastfeeding rates) PEN 3- Model 3×3 table
Health benefits to mother ( Rosenblatt,1995)
Current breast feeding practices
Fear of body image (Barnes, 1997)
Findings of breastfeeding researches. (Dewey, 1995)
Attention of the health organizations (Zareai, 2007)
Low cost than formulas
Breastfeeding campaigns
Lack of family support (Zareai, 2007)
Single mothers
Generalization of the bottle feeding.
Influence of the people who are practicing breastfeeding (Zareai, 2007)
Community interventions
Working mothers
Lack of paid maternity leave (Zareai, 2007)
Lack of free health care support (Zareai, 2007)
Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeeding is the natural and the healthiest way of feeding a child during the infancy. Breast milk contains all the nutrients required for the development in optimal levels. Further it provides immunity against many childhood infections and free of contamination (Rosenblatt, 1995). The world Health Organization (WHO) recommends to breastfeed up to two years with six months exclusive breastfeeding.
Although the benefits of breastfeeding are well defined and highly recommended by medical professionals, considerable proportion of child bearing women in western countries tend to feed their infants with formulas or stop breast feeding before the recommended duration.
Above PEN 3 model was constructed to understand the existing causes for lower breastfeeding rates in western world and measures can be taken to improve.
In the third dimension of the PEN 3 Model Nurtures are defined as “supportive and/or discouraging influences of families and friends including eating tradition, community and events, spirituality and soul, values of friends, marriage rules, expectations etc”. (Airhihenbuwa, 2004).
Positive Nurturers
Peer practice
Approximately 40-50% of mothers practice breastfeeding in western countries. Peer influence of these mothers may help other women to start breast feeding (Zareai, 2007).
Existential Nurturers
Community interventions
There are several governmental and other organizational programs to improve practice of breast feeding in western countries. These programs provide free counseling and support to mothers promoting breastfeeding.
Negative Nurtures
Working Mothers
Most of the western mothers are workin mothers, therefore they don’t have enough time to spend with their infant and this causes them to feed the child with formula milk.
Lack of paid maternity leave
In many developing countries paid maternity leave up to 6 months are allowed for female employees in both private and public sector. But western countries lack that kind of legislations. Therefore working mothers naturally tend to feed their child with bottle milk (Zareai, 2007).
Lack of free health care support
Free health care services are available in many developing countries. But many western countries do not have sufficient free health care facilities to support breastfeeding mothers to teach and practice correct methods of breastfeeding and overcome their problems (Zareai, 2007).
Breastfeeding in public
Due to cultural perception breastfeeding in public places may be annoying for the western mothers. Therefore they may choose bottle feeding. However in many Asian countries breastfeeding in public places is a common practice and they really get the help of others.
Considering all above factors, it is obvious that the western culture has some drawbacks regarding breastfeeding. However these can be avoided by introducing suitable interventions.
Airhihenbuwa, C. O., Webster, J. (2004).Culture and African contexts of HIV/AIDS prevention care and support. Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance, 1:3-12.
Barnes, J., Stein, A., Smith, T. and Pollock, J. I. (1997). Extreme attitudes to body shape, social and psychological factors and a reluctance to breast feed. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 1997 October. 90(10): 551–559.
Rosenblatt. K., Thomas, D. (1995). Prolonged lactation and endometrial cancer. WHO Collaborative Study of Neoplasia and Steroid Contraceptives. International Journal of Epidemiology 24 (3): 499–503.
Dewey, K.G., Heinig, M.J., Nommsen-Rivers, L.A. (1995). Differences in morbidity between breast-fed and formula-fed infants.. J. Pediatr. 126: 696–702.
Zareai, M., &nbsp.Maxine, L., OBrien, &nbsp. Fallon, A.B. (2007). Creating a breastfeeding culture: a comparison of breastfeeding practises in Australia and Iran. Breastfeeding Review. retrieved from