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Breastfeeding in Qatar

Did you know that breastfeeding in Qatar is significantly lower than the global rate? In light of World Breastfeeding week, which takes place during August 1st-7th, we’re taking the opportunity to discuss breastfeeding in Qatar and to encourage mothers in Qatar to breastfeed their children due to its importance in promoting health for both mother and baby.

According to UNICEF, the exclusive breastfeeding rate in Qatar is 12%, a low figure when compared with the global rate of 37%. The rate in Qatar is also significantly lower than the global target set by the World Health Organization, which calls for at least 50% of babies under six months-of-age to be exclusively breastfed by 2025. In support of these recommendations, the Supreme Council of Health in Qatar in its National Health Strategy 2011-2016 has set the target of increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding at six months-of-age to 25%.

Our Community Relations and Development division conducted a qualitative study of new-born breastfeeding practices and the sources of information about these practices among Qatari women last year, and found that breastfeeding is not commonly practiced among Qatari women due to a lack of professional support and information about its importance.

According to Eman Nasralla, our community relations and development manager who led the research, “Qatari women often provide sugar water, date water and herbal drinks as well, believing that breast milk alone is not enough. Women are also told that the milk they have in the first few days is not enough, or that maybe the baby doesn’t want to be breastfed. They also often have people around who can help bottle-feed the baby, so they don’t feel they need to breastfeed.”

The answer to the problem is more information and support, such as awareness campaigns like World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) which helps teach parents-to-be about the importance of breastfeeding for both child and mother.

For this reason, we’re proud to say that we have pledged to take part in this year’s WBW campaign to help raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. Find us on the official WBW pledge map!