New Publication on the Barriers and Opportunities for Improved Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices in Tanzania

In May 2019, Cynthia Matare and co-authors published the paper “Barriers and Opportunities for Improved Exclusive Breast-Feeding Practices in Tanzania: Household Trials With Mothers and Fathers” in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin.  This paper assessed parents’ willingness and ability to try specific recommended exclusive breastfeeding practices (EBF) practices plus strategies for fathers to support breastfeeding. Several strategies recommended to overcome barriers, such as use of non-prescribed medicines, were acceptable and feasible, resulting in improved feeding practices and increased time for breastfeeding. Common barriers to EBF were (1) use of gripe water and traditional medicines for perceived symptoms of infantile distress; (2) mothers’ workloads and time away from infants, limiting availability for EBF; and (3) water given for perceived thirst. The researchers conclude engaging fathers in EBF interventions could contribute to important changes in social norms and facilitate men’s involvement in improving breast-feeding practices.