Research Article

Further decline of breast-feeding.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 07 February 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:305
  1. E Eastham,
  2. D Smith,
  3. D Poole,
  4. G Neligan


    In a personal survey, by structured interview, we have investigated some of the factors which led 100 healthy mothers (63 primiparae) to decide to breast-feed their healthy babies, and 100 comparable mothers (43 primiparae) to decide to bottle-feed. Past experience (either personal or that of their family and friends) was of considerable but not overriding importance, and the decisions were apparently made surprisingly early in most cases. But much more effective educational approaches are needed, perhaps starting in the schools, and concentrated in the antenatal clinic, to allow mothers to reach the right decision for themselves and their babies. The reasons for early cessation of breast-feeding were also investigated, and suggested that those mothers opting for breast-feeding need better technical information and support.