Developing a Conceptual Framework for Factors Affecting Breastfeeding

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.SE.19.02.Art008

Authors : Jewel Abraham, Reeja Raju


Department of Health (DOH) the regulator of Abu Dhabi region in UAE launched Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) on March 21, 2016. Despite this drive for last 3 years, there has been no noticeable changes or initiatives in private health sector. There are different factors that affect the breastfeeding behaviors that may result in sluggish response from private healthcare sector. The purpose of this article is to develop a comprehensive conceptual model that can guide researches investigating the factors affecting breastfeeding behavior. This study will analyze different theories related to breastfeeding to identify common theoretical constructs that constitutes the breastfeeding behavior. Prominent constructs identified will be used to develop a conceptual framework. A methodical survey of existing literatures is reviewed to delineate the factors affecting breastfeeding. The factors are then categorized using the concept of bioecological systems theory to formulate the conceptual model. The conceptual model assumes the breastfeeding behavior as the resultant of interaction between the person, behavior and environment. Breastfeeding is the end behavior, while personal factors is a combination of maternal and infant synergies. Environmental factors are categorized as micro and marco-environmental factors based on their level of influences.

Keywords: breastfeeding, breastfeeding factors, breastfeeding practice, breastfeeding theories.


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