Thai nurses' beliefs about breastfeeding and postpartum practices

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Title Thai nurses' beliefs about breastfeeding and postpartum practices
Author Kaewsarn, Pattaya; Moyle, Wendy; Creedy, Debra
Journal Name Journal of Clinical Nursing
Year Published 2003
Place of publication UK
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Abstract • Cultural beliefs are important determinants of health care behaviours. Nurses have an important influence on infant feeding decisions and maternal postpartum care, but little is known about the extent to which their practice is influenced by traditional beliefs and/or recent innovations driven by evidence-based research. • The aim of this study was to investigate Thai nurses' traditional beliefs about breastfeeding and related postpartum care, and their impact on nursing practice. • A survey of 372 nurses working in hospitals and health services in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand was undertaken. Questionnaire items were developed from a review of the literature and exploratory interviews with Thai women. Descriptive statistics were used to represent the incidence of particular beliefs and behaviours. Chi-square analyses were conducted to determine relationships between demographic characteristics and traditional beliefs and practices. • There were discrepancies between nurses' beliefs and contemporary evidence-based practices. Many nurses supported traditional Thai postpartum practices such as food restrictions and encouraging hot baths. Some traditional beliefs supported by nurses may be detrimental to women and babies such as 'lying by fire', discarding of colostrum, and giving boiled water to neonates. Only half the nurses reported that they encouraged mothers to breastfeed immediately following birth. • The study was undertaken in the North-East of Thailand, where the population is known to have strong belief systems. Reliability and content validity of the tool would be enhanced through replication studies and qualitative investigations of other breastfeeding issues. • There is a need for professional development strategies such as peer review and mentoring to address inadequate knowledge and outdated practices of some health professionals, as well as continuity of care models to assess quality care outcomes that are culturally appropriate.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Copyright Statement Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at []
Volume 12
Page from 467
Page to 475
ISSN 0962-1067
Date Accessioned 2004-03-10
Language en_US
Research Centre Menzies Health Institute Qld; Centre for Health Practice Innovation
Faculty Faculty of Nursing & Health
Subject PRE2009-Midwifery
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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