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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


WAYLAND, Coral. Breastfeeding patterns in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil: a survey of reasons for weaning. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.6, pp.1757-1761. ISSN 1678-4464.

This paper presents a preliminary profile of infant feeding practices in a peri-urban Amazonian community. A random sample of 180 households with at least one child under the age of five years were interviewed in 1996 as part of a maternal-child health survey conducted in a peri-urban neighborhood in Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. Since some households had more than one child under the age of five, data were collected for a total of 250 children. The results of the survey indicate that initiation of breastfeeding is nearly universal, with 96.0% of women breastfeeding their infants at birth. However, many mothers terminate breastfeeding before the recommended age. Forty-five percent of infants are weaned before six months and 62.0% are weaned before 12 months. The survey also reveals that mothers give supplemental food and drink at an early age. Finally, while women give a variety of responses for why breastfeeding was terminated, the most common answer (42.0%) was that the infant refused the breast. The meaning and implications of this response merit further investigation.

Keywords : Breastfeeding; Weaning; Infant Nutrition.

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