Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 125

P06-104 - Exclusive breastfeeding and tahneek practices among Muslims

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Introduction: Globally in 2016, 63% of infants were not exclusively breastfeeding during their 6 first months of life in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). In the Islamic religion, breastfeeding is referenced in the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith recommending mothers to breastfeed for 2 years, if possible. There is also a practice called tahneek; giving a small piece of softened date gently rubbed into an infant's upper palate soon after birth which is contradictory with the WHO recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding. Given the fact that Islam is the second largest religion growing more rapidly than any other religion in the world and the majority of Moslems live LMICs, it is important for the health practitioners to understand this practice and give the best possible and culturally sensitive care to help a muslim mother to breastfeed her baby.

Objectives: To explore how is tahneek performed by Muslims in different regions, with particular attention to the breastfeeding support, promotion, care and intervention.


Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted on Pubmed and Google Scholar database to identify articles relevant to the objective of this study.

Result: This study found that culturally, there is a different understanding of the importance of performing tahneek, how and who is the best person to do.


Conclusion: There are some differences whether to do and the method of tahneek among Moslem communities. Few studies found some benefits of tahneek, the further rigorous evidence is needed.




Funding Source: none

Siti Nurokhmah

Graduate Student
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
London, England, United Kingdom