Abstract

Analysis of the 1973 National Survey of Family Growth shows a continued downward trend in breast feeding by successive cohorts of American mothers. The downward trend is evident in both measures of incidence (ever-breast feeding) and duration of breast feeding for first and higher-order births. For all cohorts higher-order births are less likely to be breast fed than first births. However, breast feeding of higher-order births is typically of a longer duration. Differentials in breast feeding reveal strong associations with indicators of social class; women who are college graduates, who work as professionals, and who are married to professional husbands are most likely to breast-feed their infants. Differentials in average duration of breast feeding are often reversed from differentials in ever-breast feeding.

This content is only available as a PDF.

References

Bain, K. (
1948
).
The Incidence of Breast Feeding in Hospitals in the U.S
.
Pediatrics
,
2
,
313
319
.
Baum, J. D. (
1971
).
Nutritional Value of Human Milk
.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
,
37
,
126
130
.
Broad, F. (
1972
).
The Effects of Infant Feeding on Speech Quality
.
New Zealand Medical Journal
,
76
,
28
31
.
Broad, F. (
1975
).
Further Studies on the Effects of Infant Feeding on Speech Quality
.
New Zealand Medical Journal
,
82
,
373
376
.
Cole, J. P. (
1977
).
Breast Feeding in Boston Suburbs in Relation to Personal-Social Factors
.
Clinical Pediatrics
,
16
,
352
356
. 10.1177/000992287701600410
Cunningham, A. S. (
1977
).
Morbidity in Breast Fed and Artificially Fed Infants
.
Journal of Pediatrics
,
90
,
726
729
. 10.1016/S0022-3476(77)81236-5
Douglas, J. W. B. (
1950
).
The Extent of Breast Feeding in Great Britain in 1946,With Special Reference to the Health and Survival of Children
.
The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Empire
,
57
,
336
362
.
Dugdale, A. E. (
1971
).
The Effect of the Type of Feeding on Weight Gain and Illnesses in Infants
.
The British Journal of Nutrition
,
26
,
423
432
. 10.1079/BJN19710047
Eastham, E., Smith, D., Poole, D., & Neligan, G. (
1976
).
Further Decline of Breast Feeding
.
British Medical Journal
,
1
,
305
309
. 10.1136/bmj.1.6005.305
Fitzpatrick, C., & Kevany, J. (
1977
).
The Duration of Breast Feeding
.
Irish Medical Journal
,
70
,
3
6
.
French, D. (
1978
).
National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle 1: Sample Design, Estimation Procedures, and Variance Estimation. Vital and Health Statistics, Series 2, No. 76
.
Washington, D.C.
:
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
.
General Practitioners’ Forum
(
1972
).
The Influence of Breast Feeding on the Incidence of Infectious Illness During the First Year of Life
.
A Report of the Research Sub-Committee of the Southeast England Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners
,
209
,
356
362
.
Guthrie, H., & Guthrie, G. (
1966
).
The Resurgence of Natural Child Feeding
.
Clinical Pediatrics
,
5
,
481
484
. 10.1177/000992286600500809
Hendershot, G. (
1980
).
Trends in Breast Feeding. Advance Data, Vital and Health Statistics
.
Washington, D.C.
:
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
.
Hirschman, C., & Hendershot, G. (
1979
).
Trends in Breast Feeding Among American Mothers. Vital and Health Statistics Series 23, No.3
.
Washington, D.C.
:
U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
.
Hirschman, C., Hendershot, G., & Sweet, J. (
1974
).
Social Background and Breast Feeding Among American Mothers
.
Social Biology
,
21
,
39
57
.
Huffman, Sandra L. (
1980
).
Trends in Breast Feeding in the U.S.: Special Focus on the Practices of Low Income Mothers
.
Washington, D.C.
:
Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA
.
Jelliffe, D., & Jelliffe, E. F. P. (
1971
).
The Uniqueness of Human Milk: Symposium
.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
,
24
,
967
1024
.
Jelliffe, D., & Jelliffe, E. F. P. (
1978
).
Human Milk in the Modem World
.
Oxford
:
Oxford University Press
.
Knodel, J., & Kinter, H. (
1977
).
The Impact of Breast Feeding Patterns on the Biometric Analysis of Infant Mortality
.
Demography
,
14
,
391
410
. 10.2307/2060586
Lawton, J. W. M., & Shortridge, K. F. (
1977
).
Protective Factors in Human Breast Milk and Colostrum
.
The Lancet
,
8005
,
253
253
. 10.1016/S0140-6736(77)91044-3
Lawrence, Ruth A. (
1980
).
Breast Feeding
.
St. Louis
:
C. V. Mosby
.
Martinez, G. A., & Nalezienski, J. P. (
1979
).
The Recent Trend in Breast Feeding
.
Pediatrics
,
64
,
686
692
.
Meyer, H. F. (
1958
).
Breast Feeding in the U.S.: Extent and Possible Trend
.
Pediatrics
,
22
,
116
121
.
Meyer, H. F. (
1968
).
Breast Feeding in the United States: Report of a 1966 National Survey With Comparable 1946 and 1956 Data
.
Clinical Pediatrics
,
7
,
708
715
. 10.1177/000992286800701205
Nutrition Committee of the Canadian Paediatric Society and the Committee on Nutrition of the American Pediatrics
(
1978
).
Pediatrics
,
62
,
591
601
.
Robertson, W. (
1961
).
Breast Feeding Practice: Some Implications of Regional Variations
.
American Journal of Public Health
,
51
,
1035
1042
. 10.2105/AJPH.51.7.1035
Rodgers, B. (
1978
).
Feeding in Infancy and Later Ability and Attainment: A Longitudinal Study
.
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
,
20
,
421
426
. 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1978.tb15242.x
Rossi, A. (
1977
).
A Biosocial Perspective on Parenting
.
Daedalus
,
106
,
1
31
.
Ryder, Norman, & Charles, Westoff (
1971
).
Reproduction in the United States
.
Princeton
:
Princeton University Press
.
Woodbury, R. M. (
1922
).
The Relationship Between Breast and Artificial Feeding and Infant Mortality
.
American Journal of Hygiene
,
2
,
668
687
.