Infant care practices among resettled refugee Mothers from East and Central Africa

Lauren Bader, J.M. Ward, H.B. Moran, Hillary Fouts, and Julia Jaekel


Refugees often parent under extreme circumstances. Parenting practices have implications for child outcomes, and parenting in the context of refugee resettlement is likely to be dynamic as parents negotiate a new culture. This study examined African origin mothers’ infant care values and practices related to feeding, carrying, and daily activities following resettlement in the Southeastern region of the U.S. Ten African origin mothers were asked about their infant care practices through semi-structured interviews. Results indicated that mothers valued breastfeeding but often chose to use formula as a supplement or instead of breastfeeding. In addition, participants valued carrying their infants close to the body but used equipment such as strollers. Mothers expressed that perceptions of American culture and rules, social support, interactions with community agencies, and the need to engage in formal employment were factors that influenced their infant care practices.

Published in

Children, vol. 7, n. 6, June 2020, pp. 1–19