Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 314–326 | Cite as

Barriers to breastfeeding in Lebanon: A policy analysis

  • Chaza AkikEmail author
  • Hala Ghattas
  • Suzanne Filteau
  • Cecile Knai
Original Article


Although the issue of breastfeeding in Lebanon has risen on the political agenda, the country does not meet international recommendations for early breastfeeding practices. This study analysed barriers to dissemination, implementation, and enforcement of key policies to improve early breastfeeding practices. We conducted interviews with stakeholders in breastfeeding policy in Lebanon and used a framework approach for analysing data. We found a disconnect between policy endorsement and translation on the ground, weak engagement of professional associations and governmental institutions, undue influence by the breast milk substitute industry, and competing priorities—most notably the current refugee crisis. This study highlights the potential policy opportunities to counter these barriers and points to the role of international organisations and grassroots advocacy in pushing, monitoring, and implementing policies that protect breastfeeding, where government capacity is limited, and the private sector is strong.


policy analysis breastfeeding Lebanon International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chaza Akik
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hala Ghattas
    • 2
  • Suzanne Filteau
    • 1
  • Cecile Knai
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Population HealthLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of Health SciencesAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Department of Health Services Research and PolicyLondon School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK

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