Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
KUMMER, Suzane C et al. Evolution of breastfeeding pattern. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2000, vol.34, n.2, pp. 143-148. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102000000200007.
OBJECTIVE: To follow the evolution of the breastfeeding practice among women in a childbirth clinic and evaluate the actions for its promotion. METHODS: Two cohorts of children born in an school hospital of Porto Alegre, Brazil, in different periods of time were compared regarding the prevalence of breastfeeding during the first six months of life, and the percentage of early cessation of breastfeeding. Both were prospective studies, including 202 children in the cohort of 1987, and 187 children in the cohort of 1994. All participants were healthy children, with birth weight of 2500g or more, were being breastfed and their parents were living in the same house. The 1987 study children were followed up through mail, and the 1994 study ones by home visits. RESULTS: Survival analysis showed similar frequencies of breastfeeding in the two cohorts. The prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding, although for a short period in both groups, was higher in the population studied in 1994, especially among children whose mothers were better educated. There was no rate difference of early cessation of breastfeeding between the two cohorts (36% for the 1987 cohort and 39% for the 1994 cohort). CONCLUSIONS: The results revealed a certain degree of apathy in regard of the promotion of breastfeeding during the studied period, giving support to actions to promote breastfeeding, especially among poor families.
Keywords : Breastfeeding; Weaning; Health promotion; Lactation; Human milk.