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Original Article

Sudan J Paed. 2023; 23(2): 177-186

Knowledge, perception and acceptability of breastfeeding and bottle feeding among Saudi population

Sarah Alruwaily, Nazish Masud, Haya Alshaibani, Maha Sheiko, Meshael Alshoaibi, Asma Awadalla.


Despite the enormous benefits of breastfeeding, its prevalence is suboptimal, with exclusive breastfeeding ranging between 7.3 % and 51% in the Saudi community. The aim of this study was to assess the Saudi community’s knowledge regarding breastfeeding, exposure to breastfeeding promotional messages and formula milk advertisement, and acceptability of breastfeeding in public places. It was a cross-sectional study that included Saudis aged 20 to 55 years old between December 2019 and June 2020. It utilized a self-administered questionnaire, which asked about background information, knowledge of breastfeeding, exposure to breastfeeding promoting messages and exposure to formula milk advertisement, and acceptability of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding in public. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS v. 22). For the analysis, p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. The sample included for analysis was 914. Mean age of participants was 33.8±9 years. The majority of participants were female 823 (90%); males were 87 (10%). The vast majority (94%) agreed that breast milk is more beneficial than formula milk. Nearly two-thirds (61%) were continuously exposed to messages advertising formula feeding, compared to only 35% who were exposed to messages promoting breastfeeding. The study found that 67.2% accept breastfeeding in public places. Among male participants, only 49% accepted breastfeeding in public places compared to 79% of female participants who accepted it; p-value < 0.001. Acceptability of breastfeeding in public places was significantly higher among participants who had family members who breastfed (68%), compared to those who didn’t (50%), (p-value 0.01).

Key words: Breastfeeding; Perception; Knowledge; Acceptance; Public; Promotion; Formula milk; Advertisement.

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