Infant Feeding Practices in Vietnam

Publication Abstract

Anh, Truong Si, Ngo Thi Thai Hoe, John E. Knodel, Le Huong, and Tran Thi Thanh Thuy. "Infant Feeding Practices in Vietnam." PSC Research Report No. 95-338. 12 1994.

Results from two national surveys, conducted in 1988 and 1994, indicate that breastfeeding is virtually universal in Vietnam, that the average duration of breastfeeding is well over a year, and that there appears to be no indication of a decline during the last decade in either breastfeeding initiation or duration. As recently as the early 1990s, 97 percent of women nationwide breastfeed their newborn infants and continue to do so for a median duration of around 16 months. In addition, near universal initiation of breastfeeding and reasonably long durations, in excessive of a year on average, are characteristic of a wide spectrum of socio-economic groupings. Only a minority of mothers, however, initiate breastfeeding within the first few hours following birth as recommended by health officials; and supplementary food and liquids, including plain water, are provided at very early ages. The relatively favorable situation with respect to breastfeeding deserves careful monitoring given the opening up of the country to international commerce (including infant formula companies) and the rapid social and economic change that has accompanied the shift to a market-oriented economy.

Dataset(s): Vietnam Demographic and Health Survey (VDHS): Vietnam, 1988. Vietnam Inter-Censal Demographic survey (VNICDS): Vietnam, 1994.

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