Breastfeeding throughout history – the 1980′s
We were doing so well in the seventies but of course, a new trend was on it’s way… by the late 80′s breastfeeding in newborns had dropped to 52% and was even lower in babies 6 months of age and older.
So, why? Advancements in actual infant feeding technology, and the increased participation of women in the workforce were increasing.
During the seventies we saw the increased encouragement of breastfeeding by hospital staff but was this really helping? More studies were being done on how formula use by the hospital staff and of mothers receiving discharge packets with formula included affected their breastfeeding choices. Staff often provided verbal recommendations on why breastfeeding was important to infant health, but it was their actions, which included the “hospital modeling of
infant formula products,” rather than their pro-breastfeeding rhetoric, that was a predictor of choosing formula. Basically, the medical staff was not always practicing what they were preaching. Even, within the past few years I have heard of nurses giving babies formula while they are in the nursery even if they knew mothers chose to strictly breastfeed! Keep those babies out of those nurseries, my friends.
Of course, another factor that most specifically affected mothers decision to breastfed past 6 months was the ever expanding number of women now in the workforce.
I was born in the 80′s and was breastfed for 6 months. I also have 2 sisters born in the eighties, one was breastfed until 9 months and the other until 6 as well, I believe. My mother was at home but was also taking care of a few other children in our home at the time. What about you?
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