Is breastfeeding related to maternal warmth and acceptance among Saudi mothers?
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The majority of studies that explored the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers focused on the health benefits. Yet, this study among the first to consider the possible effect of breastfeeding on maternal caregiving behavior, particularly, maternal warmth and acceptance. A total of 399 middle income Saudi mothers participated in the study to explore the differences of maternal warmth and acceptance based on the infants' feeding methods. The study also examined the association between breastfeeding duration and maternal warmth and acceptance. The results highlighted that mothers who exclusively breastfed their children scored significantly higher in maternal warmth and acceptance than mothers who only bottle fed and those who mix between breastfeeding and bottle. Breastfeeding duration was also found to have a significant positive association with both maternal warmth and acceptance. The findings provide insight into understanding the possible social and emotional benefits of breastfeeding to the mothers.
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