This research was undertaken in 2008 to explore the attitudes and perceptions of South Asian mothers regarding breast feeding
The research sets out the impact that our Children’s Centre had on infant breast feeding.
Using semi structured interviews the key findings were that:
- the mothers do not fit stereotypical image of working class Asian mother, all were informed, but not always by the professionals
- No mothers has been given any information on breast feeding linked to their religion or cultural patterns and practices
- The women were willing to be used as a resource for other new mothers
“I would encourage anybody to try it and I think it gives you a closer [bond] to your baby.”
To view the key findings of this study, click here
- There should be recognition that cultural and religious practice underpins the health beliefs of South Asian origin. It is therefore important to have services that engage them and are targeted at them.
- The National Health Services, Maternity Services in partnership with the Health Visiting Service and Children’s Centres need to develop an educational programme that will address cultural competences as there is a crucial need for health professionals to have an understanding of cultural and religious issued and sensitivities involved when engaging this user group. This is essential if our health education is o be effective. (Littler, 1997), which in turn will provide better outcomes for children.
- There is a need to link the findings of this research to other strategic local needs such as the Breast Feeding initiative and Perinatal Infant Mortality and Low Birth Weight Reduction programme so that performance indicators are based on developing an integrated service.
- There is a need to utilise Sure Start Children’s Centres in the process of promoting and supporting breast feeding. This can be developed through Breast Feeding Peer Supporters but in doing so there is a need to develop a protocol and a vision so that peer supporters are training and competent in working cross-culturally.
- There is a need for health care professionals to take on an initiative approach and employ voluntary or paid breast feeding peer supporters on maternity wards and for them to form part of the women’s care pathway that transfers women between services as required.