Socio- cultural Factors and Barriers to Early Initiation of Breastfeeding: A Qualitative Study


  • Anam Afzal Visiting lecturer, Department of Sociology, The Women University Multan, Pakistan
  • Nabeela Farah Visiting lecturer, Department of Sociology, Government Collage University Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Naveed Farah Lecturer, Department of Rural Sociology, University of Faisalabad, Pakistan



To identify the socio-cultural factors and barriers to the early initiation of breastfeeding within one hour after birth among infants in district Faisalabad. A qualitative study design was conducted by focus group discussions with an interview guide. Eight focus group discussions were comprised of parents (mother and father) and five people one nurse, one Lady Health Worker, two medical doctors and one nutritionist. Transcribed and audio-recorded were taken during the focus group discussion. Transcripts were analyzed and coded by using thematic analysis. Identified key barriers to early initiation of breastfeeding were demographic characteristics of respondents, pre-lacteal feedings, mother’s knowledge toward colostrum feeding, family type and lack of decision-making power of a mother. Socio-cultural factors have a strong influence on breastfeeding in the district Faisalabad. It can be reduced if different cultural and traditional approaches should be addressed by the government to create awareness among mothers with more effective and stronger health promotion campaigns.