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A case for promoting breastfeeding in projects to limit fertility.

Author: 
Berg A; Brems S
Source: 
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1989. 55 p. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 102)
Abstract: 

After a brief explanation of the impact of breastfeeding on fertility worldwide, inaccurate assumptions about the decline of breastfeeding are explored to point out the need for renewed promotion of breastfeeding by World Bank projects. Breastfeeding, by inhibiting fertility through lactational anovulation, is one of the most important determinants of fertility, especially for 83% of couples in developing countries who do not use modern contraception. Many believe that breastfeeding does not need promoting in areas where it is the norm, yet this belief does not take into account the need for supporting breastfeeding women, teaching them to breastfeed exclusively and frequently for the 1st 4 months. The belief that declines in breastfeeding are inevitable is belied by recent evidence in developed countries. The reliability of breastfeeding as a contraceptive for individual women varies: poor, undernourished women who breastfeed extensively may be protected up to 21.7 months (Bangladesh). Advantages of breastfeeding include significant savings of money, foreign exchange, scarce contraceptive supplies, medical treatment of diarrhea and malnutrition in infants, and possibly mothers' time. In contrast, other caregivers can prepare milk substitutes, but breastfeeding can be encouraged in the work setting, or milk expressed for later use. A review of 68 World Bank Projects revealed that 37% of all Population, Health and Nutrition projects, enumerated in an appendix, contained explicit actions to promote breastfeeding. 10 recommendations for promoting breastfeeding end the report.

Language: 
Year: 
Region / Country: 
Document Number: 
066414
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