Gender, Displacement, and Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies

Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 8)


In emergencies, women and children are among the most vulnerable to multiple forms of violence and exploitation as well as illness and death. Displacement during humanitarian crises has a profound impact on maternal and child health, particularly during the perinatal period, with significant consequences for maternal and infant health across the life course. Emergencies disproportionately affect women’s access to medical, social, cultural, and familial support systems; barriers to perinatal and psychosocial care are associated with increased rates of morbidity and mortality among mothers and infants. In this chapter we discuss breastfeeding in the context of the reproductive health continuum and intergenerational health. We use this background to elucidate the critical importance of infant and young child feeding practices in emergencies, an aspect of humanitarian response that is often neglected and poorly executed. Drawing upon a review of the literature as well as presentation of case studies drawn from our own field research, we highlight the importance of prioritizing perinatal maternal and child health in policies, protocols, and humanitarian response.


Young Child Feeding Formula Feed Breast-milk Substitutes Formula Feeding Powdered Infant Formula 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Maternal and Child Health and the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.School of Midwifery and NursingWestern Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

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