Infant Feeding Practices

Zaharah Sulaiman, Lisa H. Amir and Pranee Liamputtong

in Evolution, Early Experience and Human Development

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755059
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979479 | DOI:
Infant Feeding Practices

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In the past, feeding newborn mammals with breast milk was never a choice but rather a natural way of feeding. Without the influence of culture and beliefs, babies would naturally continue to breastfeed until the age of 2.5 to 7 years. As breast milk is recognized as the natural way to feed infants, it is no longer appropriate to talk about the “benefits of breastfeeding.” The chapter presents an overview of the health risks of not breastfeeding taken from five recent reviews regarding short- and long-term risks for preterm infants, term infants, and mothers. The chapter addresses three levels: individual-, group-, and society-level factors. Maternal prenatal intention to breastfeed is a stronger predictor than the combination of other factors in determining the initiation and duration of breastfeeding. Working by itself may not be a barrier to breastfeeding, but working conditions and long inflexible working hours are barriers to mothers maintaining breastfeeding.

Keywords: determinants of breastfeeding; infant feeding; risks of formula; breastfeeding rates; working mothers

Chapter.  7600 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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