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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Resurgence of Breastfeeding at the End of the Second Millennium

item Wright, Anne - AZ HLTH SCI CTR, TUCSON
item Schanler, Richard

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: November 7, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: This paper describes several explanations for the increase in breastfeeding initiation rates that occurred in the previous 20 years. The decline of breastfeeding in the earlier part of the century may partly be a result of maternal employment, yet the resurgence in breastfeeding occurring more recently at the same time as an unprecedented influx of new mothers into the labor force. Demographic trends, particularly among African-American women, coupled with the resurgence of breastfeeding in these groups, may have contributed to the recent increases. There is no evidence that health- care providers have contributed to increases in breastfeeding as most of the international and national policies postdated its resurgence. However, most recently increases in breastfeeding parallel increases in national breastfeeding programs designed to educate caregivers. A plausible explanation for the resurgence of breastfeeding is the pervasive influence of the natural childbirth movement, beginning in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, the increase of breastfeeding among low-income women may be partly attributable to programmatic changes in the provision of supplemental food through the WIC program, and targeting of breastfeeding promotion efforts to the specific concerns of these women.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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