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    111469

    Breastfeeding in Korea.

    Kim SH; Kim WK; Lee KA; Song YS; Oh SY

    WORLD REVIEW OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS. 1995; 78:114-27.

    Until the 1950s, almost all Korean infants were breast fed until they were 6 months old. By the 1960s, upper-middle class mothers who were influenced by rapid Westernization were feeding their infants with imported formulas. As the Korean food industry made formulas widely available in the late 1960s and 1970s, bottle feeding became widely practiced. Babies born in hospitals were given formula immediately. A 1984 survey of 930 urban mothers showed that reasons for bottle feeding were an insufficient amount of breast milk or mother's employment but that breast milk was considered superior. With the recent promotion of breast feeding, Korean infants today are fed breast milk, formula, or a combination of the two. Mother's education and employment are negatively associated with breast feeding. A 1991 survey showed that 20% of breast-fed infants received weaning foods at 3 months of age and 76% by 6 months. Bottle-fed infants were weaned earlier than breast-fed infants. Regional differences in weaning practices were observed. Weaning foods included fruit and vegetable juices (2-3 months), rice (4-6 months), and eggs, fish, and meat (after 7 months). The use of commercial weaning foods is increasing. Research has indicated that breast feeding reduces morbidity in Korean infants and may be positively related to motor and mental development (but economic factors may account for the differences noted). Breast feeding should be promoted among Korean infants.
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