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July 1989

Breast-feeding Pattern Among Indochinese Immigrants in Northern California

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(7):804-808. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150190054020

• A sharp decline in the rate of breast-feeding was documented among Indochinese mothers who migrated from Cambodia and Laos to a city in northern California. While 97.0% of the mothers breast-fed their last infant born in Indochina, only 26.1% and 22.4%, respectively, breast-fed their first and last infant born in the United States. Furthermore, only 3.8% of the mothers who were pregnant at the time of the study intended to breast-feed. The duration of breast-feeding decreased from an average of 20.4 months for the last infant born in Indochina to 8.7 months for the last infant born in the United States. After controlling for several sociodemographic variables, only formula samples distributed at hospital discharge had a significant association with formula feeding (odds ratio, 2.02). However, data on intention to breast-feed suggested that a clear cause-and-effect relationship may not exist. Factors related to cultural traditions and acculturation are offered as possible explanations for the decline in breast-feeding. Breast-feeding education for mothers and training for health professionals is recommended.

(AJDC. 1989;143:804-808)

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