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Breastfeeding in Disaster Relief Camps

An Integrative Review of Literature

Hirani, Shela Akbar Ali BScN, MScN, IBCLC, RN; Richter, Solina RN, DCur; Salami, Bukola Oladunni MN, PhD, RN; Vallianatos, Helen PhD

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0000000000000231
Section: Culture, Race & Discrimination

Breastfeeding is the safest mode of infant feeding during disasters and displacement. Although challenges associated with breastfeeding during humanitarian emergencies are global, they are particularly problematic in low- and middle-income countries such as Pakistan. To examine the factors that affect breastfeeding practices of displaced mothers in disaster relief camps, an integrative review of literature was undertaken. The review suggests that the breastfeeding experiences, behaviors, and practices of displaced mothers are shaped by a combination of gender-based, sociocultural, economic, and geopolitical factors. A thorough understanding of these factors will assist nurses and other stakeholders to improve breastfeeding practices and decrease child deaths in disaster relief camps.

Faculty of Nursing (Ms Hirani and Drs Richter and Salami) and Department of Anthropology (Dr Vallianatos), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Correspondence: Shela Akbar Ali Hirani, BScN, MScN, IBCLC, RN, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, 11405, 87 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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