Hinde, P.R. and Mturi, A.J.
Social and economic factors related to breast-feeding durations in Tanzania
Journal of Biosocial Science, 28, (3), .
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Breast milk is a nutritious, uncontaminated food for infants. Universal and prolonged breastfeeding in developed countries therefore not only reduces infant mortality, but also lengthens birth intervals due to its effect upon postpartum amenorrhea. The government of Tanzania encourages women to breastfeed their infants frequently and for long durations. Favorable attitudes prevail in Tanzania toward breastfeeding such that more than 97% of Tanzanian infants are breastfed for at least some time. The authors investigated which social and economic factors are associated with the duration of breastfeeding in the country. The influence of relevant factors is analyzed using current status data from the 1991-92 Tanzanian Demographic and Health Survey. The data are for all 6758 births reported to have occurred during the four years preceding the survey; 130 births were not, however, included in the analysis because they were never breastfed. Proportional hazards and proportional odds models are estimated. Breastfeeding durations were found to vary according to the mother and child's region of residence and whether they were living in a rural or an urban area, the age of the mother at the time of the birth, the order of the birth, and the mother's religion.
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