Breastfeeding, child health and child-spacing: cross-cultural perspectives.
This book introduces anthropological approaches and perspectives into investigations of breastfeeding practices in different cultures. It illustrates the need for interdisciplinary perspectives in investigations into breastfeeding--a task needing the joint skills of many disciplines, including the pediatric nutritionist, the epidemiologist, and the anthropologist. Breastfeeding is highly influenced by cultural factors, both major and minor. The influence of customs, such as colostrum rejection or the testing of milk for suitability may be important. Statements on such practices not infrequently may be based on reports of essentially an anecdotal nature without actual corroboration. The unique value of close observation of practices that really take place involves such anthropological technics as participant observation. Chapter titles include: 1) Breastfeeding, Child Health and Child Spacing: An Overview; 2) Ethnopediatrics and Fertility among the Amele of Lowland Papua New Guinea; 3) Infant Feeding Practices in Rural Kenya; 4) Breastfeeding in 2 Mexican Villages: Social and Demographic Perspectives; 5) Breastfeeding, Birth Spacing, and Social Change in Rural Java; 6) Breastfeeding, Infant Growth and Return to Fertility in an Iranian City; 7) The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in Rural Thailand; 8) To Nurse and to Nuture: Breastfeeding in Australian Society; and 9) Breastfeeding and the Return of Menstruation in Urban Canadian Mothers Practising "Natural Mothering."