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Exclusive breastfeeding rate in Jordan well below regional average — HPC

By Rayya Al Muheisen - Aug 01,2022 - Last updated at Aug 01,2022

AMMAN — The exclusive breastfeeding rate in Jordan is well below the regional average, according to a statement by the Higher Population Council (HPC).

The statement comes on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated annually between August 1 and 7. 

Jordan’s exclusive breastfeeding rate stands at 24 per cent for two to three months old infants compared with the regional average of 34 per cent, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported citing the HPC statement.

“Only 11 per cent of four to five months old infants are exclusively breastfed,” the HPC added.

Meanwhile, many mothers said that they chose baby formula over breastfeeding because it’s easier for caregivers.

“Some babies are sent to day cares when they are 70 days old,” Tamara Asfour, a mother of four, told The Jordan Times.

Asfour stated that mothers have to introduce formula prior to sending their infants to nurseries. Therefore, exclusive breastfeeding rates further drop for children aged four to five months, said Asfour.

Some mothers said that they are not encouraged to breastfeed, while others said they find that their work schedule does not allow for regular breastfeeding.

Rawan Kayed, a mother of two, said that hospitals give babies formula milk the minute they’re born, unless the mother asks to breastfeed. 

Meanwhile, Ayah Wael, an expecting mother, said that she is planning to introduce formula to her baby right when he’s born.

“I don’t think I will be able to breastfeed when I go back to work,” Wael said, as she will be leaving her newborn for eight hours a day.

Meanwhile, paediatricians recommend breastfeeding during the first hour of the baby’s life.

“Breastfeeding is extremely important for the infant and the mother’s wellbeing,” Aseel Dabas, a paediatrician, told The Jordan Times.

Dabas added that many mothers in Jordan have the wrong perception that their infant is not satisfied or full by breast milk alone. 

“Mother’s milk has all the nutrients and antibodies a baby needs,” Dabas said.

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