Breastfeeding practices among Jordanian women


  • Arwa Oweis RN DSNc,

    1. Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan
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  • Asmahan Tayem RN MSc CNS,

    1. Registered Nurse, Prince Rashid Hospital, Royal Medical Services, Irbid, Jordan
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  • Erika Sivarajan Froelicher RN MA PhD

    1. Professor, Department of Physiological Nursing, School of Nursing and Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA, Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
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Arwa Oweis, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Nursing, Irbid, Jordan. Email:


The purpose of the study was to explore Jordanian women's breastfeeding beliefs and practices including exclusive breastfeeding. A descriptive cross-sectional design with a convenience sample of 200 Jordanian mothers was used. The majority of mothers were muliparous and were recruited from primary health-care centres within 6 weeks of a normal vaginal birth or an instrumental delivery. Eligible women, who met the inclusion criteria, were invited to participate in the study. A sociodemographic data form and a 14-item questionnaire concerning different aspects of breastfeeding beliefs and practices were developed for self administration. This study indicated high early initiation of breastfeeding. Most mothers gave supplements other than breastfeeding, including water without knowing that this supplementation could affect exclusive breastfeeding or the continuation of breastfeeding. Finding of this study shed some light on the current breastfeeding practices including exclusive breastfeeding among Jordanian women. Women need to be better educated about breastfeeding. Therefore, more efforts and resources should be put into providing opportunities for education to discuss breastfeeding during antenatal care. This Jordanian study could be relevant to Arabic women in the West, because cultural beliefs and practices are likely to be part of immigrant woman's perceptions about breastfeeding practices.