Women's Empowerment and Determinants of Early Initiation of Breastfeeding: A Scoping Review

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Early initiation of breastfeeding (EIBF), the immediate provision of mothers' breast milk to infants within the first hour of life, has been recommended by the WHO. However, EIBF is not widely practiced, thereby increasing infant mortality risk. This review explored the available and published studies that identified interventions that empower mothers to practice EIBF. Method: We conducted a scoping review to answer the aforementioned aims. Empowerment, Women, Breastfeed, and Initiation were used as initial keywords, which were further developed using Medical Subject Headings by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Five databases, namely: Web of Science, Scopus, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature via EBSCO, ProQuest, and MedLine via PubMed, were searched for potential articles. We also searched the references in addition to the main search. Findings: We included 28 articles in this review. Education was mostly used as women's empowerment indicator in EIBF intervention. Additionally, we identified barriers (C-section and postoperative pain, lactation problems and pregnancy complications, mothers' social and demographic factors, mothers' lack of professional support, babies' condition preventing EIBF) and facilitators (mothers' positive behavior in relation to educational level, completion of antenatal care, poor economic situations of mothers, babies' size at birth) of EIBF. Discussion: Education is the widely used intervention to promote mothers' participation in improving EIBF rate. Furthermore, mothers' and babies' deferring conditions and traditional practices are barriers for EIBF. This review recommends future research and empowerment efforts that sensitively address the identified barriers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e77-e92
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Determinant
  • Early initiation of breastfeeding
  • Intervention
  • women's empowerment


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