Research Article

Increasing prevalence of breast-feeding.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 21 October 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1122
  1. E C Coles,
  2. S Cotter,
  3. H B Valman


    Two studies were performed to gauge the prevalence of and attitudes towards breast-feeding. Mothers delivered in one month in 1975 and in one month in 1977 were sent a questionnaire one month later to determine whether they were breast-feeding their babies; those that were received a second questionnaire at three months. The prevalence of breast-feeding increased significantly between 1975 and 1977, and in both periods primiparas were more likely to breast-feed than multiparas. A survey of mothers' intentions to breast-feed showed that there were no significant racial differences, but that 82% of women in social classes I and II intended to breast-feed compared with 54% in classes IV and V. These results show that, although the level of breast-feeding was high in 1975, a campaign directed at mothers, doctors, midwives, and health visitors did increase the prevalence of breast-feeding.