World Health Organization programs in breastfeeding.
The World Health Organization has undertaken an extensive survey of breastfeeding practises in an attempt to analyze prevalence, duration, motivation, attitude and demography of lactating mothers. A point prevalence study was implemented in 1975 in 10 locations. Mothers from 3 groups: urban elite, urban, and rural, were interviewed concerning background, medical history, pregnancy conditions, postnatal infant care, feeding schedules and diet, return of menstruation, and family planning behavior. 5 additional surveys were conducted among approximately 20,000 women. The first was a health, demographic, and socioeconomic survey. The second was an assessment of infant food marketing practises. The third survey was of health-related workers regarding their knowledge and training. The organization and delivery of health services and the social support systems for lactating mothers comprised the fourth and fifth surveys. Following these surveys WHO also conducted a cross-sectional study of the volume and composition of breast milk. The results of the studies will be input for an action program.