Date Approved

2010

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Health Promotion and Human Performance

Committee Member

Joan Cowdery, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Susan McCarthy, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christine Karshin, Ph.D.

Abstract

Background: Arab women‟s breastfeeding practices, including exclusive breastfeeding, are shaped by cultural and religious values and beliefs. Many studies have investigated breastfeeding practices among Arab mothers in their Arabic countries, but no published studies were identified that looked at these practices in Arab women living in the United States.

The purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore breastfeeding practices including exclusive breastfeeding among Arab women living in the United States.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 90 Arab mothers was used. Participants were recruited from the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor, MI; Islamic Institute of Knowledge, Dearborn, MI; Michigan Islamic Academy; and Entesar‟s Beauty Salon, Ann Arbor, MI.

Results: The results of this study showed low levels of exclusive breastfeeding, as well as early introduction of supplementations.

Conclusions: A health education program related to exclusive breastfeeding is needed targeting Arab mothers in the U.S.

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