Breast feeding is the focus of rapidly growing interest in many areas of demographic research. However, relatively few rigorous studies on breast-feeding patterns and correlates in contemporary India have been published. This study uses data from a retrospective survey conducted in 1991-1992 to investigate current breast-feeding patterns and to identify the key factors that influence the duration of exclusive breast feeding and infant's age at the time of weaning in an urban Hindu society of the northeast Indian state of Assam. Applying life table procedures and a hazards regression model, we found evidence that the median duration of exclusive breast feeding and infant's age at the time of weaning were negatively associated with mother's education, per capita income, and social status of the household. Those infants who were breast-fed longer at night than in the daytime were also at greater risk of earlier introduction of non-breast-milk foods and of earlier termination of breast feeding than infants who were breast-fed longer during the day. Gender bias toward males in rearing infants prevails in this urban society, and male infants were found to have a significantly lower risk of early weaning than female infants.
Nath, Dilip C. and Goswami, Giti
"Determinants of Breast-Feeding Patterns in an Urban Society of India,"
4, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol69/iss4/9