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A review of breastfeeding in Brazil and how the country has reached ten months' breastfeeding duration

Marina Ferreira Rea About the author

In 1975, one out of two Brazilian women only breastfed until the second or third month; in a survey from 1999, one out of two breastfed for 10 months. This increase over the course of 25 years can be viewed as a success, but it also shows that many activities could be better organized, coordinated, and corrected when errors occur. Various relevant decisions have been made by international health agencies during this period, in addition to studies on breastfeeding that have reoriented practice. We propose to review the history of the Brazilian national program to promote breastfeeding, focusing on an analysis of the influence of international policies and analyzing them in four periods: 1975-1981 (when little was done), 1981-1986 (media campaigns), 1986-1996 (breastfeeding-friendly policies), and 1996-2002 (planning and human resources training activities backed by policies to protect breastfeeding). The challenge for the future is to continue to promote exclusive breastfeeding until the sixth month, taking specific population groups into account.

Breastfeeding; Governments Programs; Infant Nutrition


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