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Breastfeeding rates and barriers: a report from the State of Qatar

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submitted on 2024-02-27, 08:08 and posted on 2024-02-27, 08:09 authored by Mohamed A Hendaus, Ahmed H Alhammadi, Shabina Khan, Samar Osman, Adiba Hamad


The aim of the study was to outline breastfeeding barriers faced by women residing in the State of Qatar.


A cross-sectional study through a telephone interview was conducted at Hamad Medical Corporation, the only tertiary care and accredited academic institution in the State of Qatar. Mothers of children born between the period of January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in the State of Qatar were contacted.


Of the total 840 mothers who were contacted for the telephone survey, 453 mothers agreed to be interviewed (response rate 53.9%), while 364 (43.3%) did not answer the phone, and 21 (2.5%) answered the phone but refused to participate in the study. The overall breastfeeding initiation rate among the mothers was 96.2%, with 3.8% mothers reporting that they had never breastfed their baby. The percentage of mothers who exclusively breastfed their children in the first 6 months was 24.3%. The most common barriers to breastfeeding as perceived by our participants were the following: perception of lack of sufficient breast milk after delivery (44%), formula is easy to use and more available soon after birth (17.8%), mom had to return to work (16.3%), lack of adequate knowledge about breastfeeding (6.5%), and the concept that the infant did not tolerate breast milk (4.9%).


Exclusive breastfeeding barriers as perceived by women residing in the State of Qatar, a wealthy rapidly developing country, do not differ much from those in other nations. What varies are the tremendous medical resources and the easy and comfortable access to health care in our community. We plan to implement a nationwide campaign to establish a prenatal breastfeeding counseling visit for all expecting mothers.

Other Information

Published in: International Journal of Women's Health
See article on publisher's website:


Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Dove Medical Press

Publication Year

  • 2018

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Medical Corporation
  • Hamad General Hospital - HMC
  • Sidra Medicine
  • Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar

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    Hamad Medical Corporation



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