Presentation Information

Tamara Drenttel Brand

Contextualizing Breastfeeding in Lebanon

  • Speaker: Tamara Drenttel Brand , MA, MPH, IBCLC
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 30 Mins
  • Credits: .5 CERP, 0.5 Nursing CEU, 0.5 CME, 0.05 Midwifery CEU, .5 Dietetic CEU

In Lebanon, nearly all mothers attempt to initiate breastfeeding. Despite high initiation rates, only 40% of mothers exclusively breastfed through the first month and nationally, a mere 2.4% continued to exclusively breastfeed between 4 and 5 months. Early weaning is a pressing public health concern as infant and under-5 morbidity rates are high. Environmental issues like water quality and sanitation can be problematic when supplemental formula or contaminated water is used. This presentation examines the breastfeeding trends in Lebanon and explores the complex and often overlapping historical, social, cultural, economic and policy determinants behind early weaning. Next, this presentation analyzes newly emerging factors such as the power of social media, collaboration of lactation specialists and the rise of influential mother support networks. The presentation will conclude by highlighting the growing breastfeeding support infrastructure in Lebanon, for the most part, facilitated by breastfeeding mothers themselves.