Breast feeding practices in the Black community

  • S.M. Ross
  • A Van Middelkoop
  • N.C. Khoza


Our study was designed to obtain information about the prevalence of breast-feeding among rural and urban Blacks, to determine whether the number of women providing early supplementary feeding has increased over a 4-year period, and to discover groups at particular risk of failure to breast-feed optimally. Women attending child health clinics were interviewed. Over 95% had commenced breastfeeding, but only 50% were still doing so after 5 - 8 weeks. Women uncertain of whether or not to breast-feed and those unsuccessful on a previous· occasion are as likely to commence breast-feeding as are other groups, but are more likely to introduce early supplementation. Improvements in hospital and clinic practice as regards a greater emphasis on health education, early sucklirtg and the'avoidance of supplementary feeding in neonates may have contributed to the slight improvement in breastfeeding practices seen over the 4-year period studied.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135