Breastfeeding, Fertility, and Maternal Condition
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Breastfeeding, Fertility, and Maternal Condition book
In 1961, in a seminal contribution to the literature on human fertility, the French demographer Louis Henry ventured a bold suggestion: that the practice of lactation might act as the primary determinant of fertility variation in "natural fertility" populations. "Some data on natural fertility", Louis Henry quite transformed both the nature of analytical approaches to the study of human fertility and the research agenda itself. The relationship between maternal nutritional status and lactational suppression of ovarian function has been explored more explicitly, using data from Matlab. Abundant evidence serves to link the behavioral choreography of breastfeeding with the lactational suppression of ovarian function. The cumulative pregnancy rate had reached 50% among bottle-feeders by 9 months postpartum, while the comparable rate among breastfeeding mothers was only 7%. The Edinburgh study, however, seemed to suggest that a full breastfeeding/partial breastfeeding dichotomy might succeed where the nursing/not nursing dichotomy failed.