Determinants of breastfeeding among rural moslem women in israel

Faisal Azaiza, Have Palti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explores the breastfeeding behavior of rural Moslem women in Israel, and determines the variables that influence the prevalence and length of this mode of infant nourishment. A cohort of 429 women, constituting 10% of all parturient women in the defined regions, were interviewed 3 and 6 months after delivery. The majority (96%) initiated breastfeeding, but only 57% continued beyond 6 months. Multivariate analysis showed a statistically significant association between duration of breastfeeding for >6 months and degree of religiosity (OR = 2.31); male offspring (OR = 1.75); low social class as defined by occupation of husband (OR 1.71); nationalistic orientation (OR = 1.72); traditional attitudes and practices (OR 1.68); and a low level of education (OR = 1.64). These associations indicate that the breastfeeding practices among the rural Moslem women in Israel are determined by factors similar to those of traditional societies in many developing countries where a decline in breastfeeding is one of the first signs of Westernization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-211
Number of pages9
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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