Trends in Exclusive Breastfeeding: Findings From the 1990s

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Abstract

This article presents trends and differentials in exclusive breastfeeding patterns that occurred in developing settings during the 1990s and considers these trends in relation to the breastfeeding-support activities in that decade. Between 1990 and 2000, the data suggest that exclusive breastfeeding levels in the developing world increased 15% overall among infants younger than 4 months (from 46% to 53%) and among infants older than 6 months (from 34% to 39%). The increase in urban areas is of special note. Urban areas are presumed to be most susceptible to the ambient health system and social and commercial pressures against breastfeeding; the support activities of the 1990s (eg, the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative and the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes) were developed to address these pressures. Given this, implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, which supports these proven interventions, should be effective in further increasing optimal breastfeeding practices. J Hum Lact. 22(3):272–276.

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