Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Childbirth and Breastfeeding

What are the key distinctions between breastfeeding practices of Australian and Iranian women? What factors account for these differences? (Your analysis should consider cultural factors and the potential influence of such on the decision to breastfeed/not breastfeed. )

The article mentions four factors that distinctly separate Australian and Iranian women in terms of breastfeeding practices, and these include whether the country has adopted comprehensively to a program for promoting this practice; whether hospitals all over the nation have also implemented the BFH Initiative (Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative); the aspect on returning to a paid work; and lastly the issue on cultural influences in each of the country mentioned.

In the first category, according to the article, Australia has acknowledged generally that breastfeeding is practice worth pursuing in this modern day hectic activities, it surprisingly accepted only some aspects of this World Health Organization’s mandate. It has not fully embraced what WHO had extensively gathered on the information or facts about the Breastfeeding practice’s overall contribution to a community or nation’s health. Unlike Iran, which implemented with full force the viability of the program, this country shows full trust on the returns of good and healthy practices such as breastfeeding on its citizens.

In addition, though a portion or percentage of Australian citizens did follow the said program, it is sadly noticeable that a not many opted to reach the minimum 6 months to a year to fully breastfeed their babies and start with supplementary feeding earlier instead (Zaeeai et al. , 2007). Secondly, in the same manner, the adoption of the BFH initiative has been successful in Iran, where one hundred percent (100%) of the hospitals share this WHO vision and painstakingly assist their women to see to it that the ten steps outlined to faithfully follow in a successful breastfeeding activity are implemented.

However, Australia not only did not incorporate this program in its national policy, it has in addition, modified the ten steps tailored to their own perceived important method (Zaeeai et al. , 2007). Thirdly, women returning to work is also an important criterion for consideration, in as much as the monetary support by their respective agencies is a very essential factor why women continue or even initiate breastfeeding. Iran’s support on working women impacts considerably women’s choice to breastfeed.

Because the country’s government supports longer maternity leave with guaranteed pay, women can fully embrace the program. This is in contrast to Australia’s meager support on women’s right to a maternity leave (Zaeeai et al. , 2007). Lastly, culture dictates the acceptability of changes or any practice for that matter. Iran counts religion as the best influence since their doctrine mandates the wise practice of breastfeeding for up to the age of two years old. The use of mass media also completes the full support that both private and public entities in Iran secure women’s adoption of breastfeeding.

Not so with Australia, where lifestyle alone has been a deterrent in the breastfeeding practice; this is evident in the rate of smokers comparatively highly in Australian women (Zaeeai et al. , 2007). 2. How might breastfeeding initiation and duration rates be improved within each of these countries? Be sure to consider each country separately. Iran will have to increase the advocacy campaign among different sites or communities across Iran as discrepancies within the country’s communities are still prevalent.

The government’s expenditures for the campaign and all the related activities to successfully implement said program should continue or be sustained for the national and local percentage of success to come at par. In Australia’s context, all the four categories mentioned must be equally pursued by its government which also means allocation of government budget spending on all four main areas and the adoption of a nationwide policy that implements all four criteria.

Cultural differences that separate Iran and Australia can actually be bridged in terms of media campaigns and advocacy groups supported by the Australian government. As the authors elucidated, when the country weighs the pros and cons of the spendings that might be incurred towards this position, the liabilities of not conforming to WHO’s mandate far outweighs the gains that will be eventually be reaped by the citizens of Australia should they opt to follow the mandate (Zaeeai et al. , 2007). 3. What, if any, are the implications of this studys findings for increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration among women in the U. S.? Considering that America has a lot in common with Australia specifically in terms with the cultural and religious aspects, the picture of both countries’ adoption to the practice is similar and findings in this study can be practically applicable. Utilizing the same four categories then, the US performance on the breastfeeding campaign is also evaluated, and same measures that had been exerted by the Iranian government to increase breastfeeding practices among their women can thus be applied.

It has to do with major mobilizations and budget; only when the government utterly believes that the breastfeeding method is opted for longer periods of time, more acceptability of the practice in the public places, and more paid leaves could be very important breakthroughs that can be expected should the US government sits up and takes notice of the immense importance of the mandate (Zaeeai et al. , 2007). Reference: Zaeeai, M. , Obrien, M. L. , & Fallon, A. B. (2007). Creating a breastfeeding culture: A comparison of breastfeeding practises in Australia and Iran. Breastfeeding Review, 15(2), 15-24.

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