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March 1913

STATISTICAL COMPARISON OF THE MORTALITY OF BREAST-FED AND BOTTLE-FED INFANTS

Author Affiliations

Vital Statistician, Health Department BOSTON

Am J Dis Child. 1913;V(3):234-247. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1913.04100270040003
Abstract

The great importance of breast-feeding has long been known, but so far the subject has failed to secure its proper share of attention.

Advertisements of infant foods and an abundance of medical literature on scientific feeding of infants have lulled both mothers and physicians into a false sense of security in the practice of artificial feeding. The fearful loss of infant life is so spread out over the entire country that the individual physician does not appreciate his own responsibility, though a conservative estimate ascribes a full third of all infant deaths to unnecessary bottle feeding.

During the siege of Paris, 1870-71, when the milk-supply failed, the Parisian women nursed their children and the infant mortality-rate fell from 330 to 170 per thousand births.1

A similar fall in the infant mortality-rate was seen "during the Lancashire cotton famine, when mothers were not at work in the mills."2

An

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