Information on whether mothers intended to breast feed and whether they actually did so one month after delivery has been recorded for all mothers in Sheffield during the last 15 years, and changes in the last 10 years have been reported. There was a steady increase in the percentage of mothers intending to breast feed and in those who did so in the 1970s. From 1984-8, however, there has been a rapid and progressive decline, despite an increase in mean maternal age and a reduction in the number of non-white births. The decline in the percentage of mothers who intend to breast feed has been greatest among those whose education did not extend beyond the age of 18, and among Asian mothers.
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