Promotion of Breast-Feeding, Health, and Growth among Hospital-Born Neonates, and among Infants of a Rural Area of Costa Rica

  • Leonardo Mata
  • María A. Allen
  • Patricia Jiménez
  • Maria E. García
  • William Vargas
  • María E. Rodríguez
  • Carlos Valerin


A decline in the incidence of breast-feeding in many developing nations has been recorded in recent years, often in conjunction with (a) rapid changes in way of life, (b) migration from rural to urban centers, (c) incorporation of women into the labor force (especially in industry), and (d) increase in stress, anxiety, and violence in transitional and modern societies. The marked decline in incidence and duration of breast-feeding throughout the world is a matter of international concern. The importance of breast-feeding, particularly in developing societies, stems from its health-promoting effect, as it provides the best food known for infants, protects the child against a variety of debilitating infectious processes, and encourages attachment between mother and infant.1–6 Furthermore, successful breast-feeding indirectly reduces the ills of bottle-feeding, especially in developing nations, as epidemiological observation in many countries has revealed that early weaning is often associated with severe infant malnutrition, neglect, child abuse, abandonment, and premature death.7–9


Infant Mortality Infant Death Diarrheal Disease Formula Milk Hyaline Membrane Disease 
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Copyright information

© The United Nations University 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Mata
    • 1
  • María A. Allen
    • 1
  • Patricia Jiménez
    • 1
  • Maria E. García
    • 1
  • William Vargas
    • 1
  • María E. Rodríguez
    • 1
  • Carlos Valerin
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones en SaludUniversidad de Costa RicaSan PedroCosta Rica

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