Breast-Feeding and Fertility

Journal of Biosocial Science Supplement No. 9, edited by Malcolm Potts, Shyam Thapa, and M. A. Herbertson. v + 173 pages, illustrated. The Biochemical Society Book Depot, P.O. Box No. 32, Commerce Way, Colchester, CO2 8HP, Essex, United Kingdom. 1985. $25.00

Abram B. FajerDepartment of Physiology School of Medicine University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 21201

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This issue of the interdisciplinary journal is dedicated to a subject that has great social implications to a large part of the world population. While in the industrialized world no ill effects have resulted from the practice of bottle-feeding and the decline of breast-feeding of infants, the picture is more complicated in the developing world. In countries with a less developed health care system and a low income population, breast-feeding and fertility are important public health issues. In the 1960s, there was a great push by the milk industries to advertise bottle-feeding in order to expand markets in the Third World. This campaign generated a counter-campaign that has now reached a kind of equilibrium.

In the developing countries, breast-feeding is a serious matter because of the relationship between breast-feeding and fertility.