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Abigail Gerard
British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 9, Iss. 5, 03 May 2001, pp 294 - 300

It is well recognized that breast-feeding declined in most European countries during the 1960s. How some countries, such as Norway subsequently increased the breast-feeding rates is less known. This comparative paper between Scotland and Norway, analyses the historical, social and cultural factors that influence the prevalence of breast-feeding. It is argued that the choice of feeding method is based on the dominant cultural norms which exist in each society. In comparison to Scotland, there is a strong cultural norm to breast-feed in Norway. This is partly because of a more relaxed attitude towards the naked human body, a healthier lifestyle in general and that the practical barriers that deter women from breast-feeding have been removed. In addition, strategies to reverse the effects of commercial promotion of formula milk, and inconsistent advice by health professionals were implemented at an early stage of the declining trends.

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