September 1982

Contemporary Patterns of Breast-feeding

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester Medical Center 601 Elmwood Ave Rochester, NY 14642


by the Collaborative Study on Breast-feeding, World Health Organization, 211 pp, 24 Swiss francs, Geneva, World Health Organization, 1981.

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(9):867. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970450109034

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Contemporary Patterns of Breast-feeding is a report of the Collaborative Study on Breast-feeding conducted by the World Health Organization from 1975 to 1978. Nine countries, including Chile, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Zaire, were selected to provide a broad spectrum of geographic, ecologic, and cultural characteristics. The study used questionnaires about the community and questionnaires completed by mothers about pregnancy, lactation, and family dynamics. Three specific populations were used in each of the countries: (1) economically advantaged and educated (urban) families, (2) poor and poorly educated (urban) families, and (3) rural families. Data were collected by trained interviewers.

The text of the book addresses the results of the study that report the prevalence and duration of breast-feeding, breast-feeding and reproduction, infant growth, morbidity and mortality, and family characteristics. Particular attention is given to a discussion of supplementary foods and the impact of marketing of breast milk substitutes. A

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