Questioning current definitions for breastfeeding research

Int Breastfeed J. 2012 Aug 13;7(1):9. doi: 10.1186/1746-4358-7-9.


Background: The aim of this paper is to examine how breastfeeding is defined for research purposes.

Discussion: Current breastfeeding definitions focus on the amount of breast milk an infant receives and do not encompass how a baby is fed. Our concerns are that key variables are not measured when mothers are pumping or expressing their milk and bottle feeding. It seems the breastfeeding relationship is not considered in the definition.

Conclusion: While we appreciate the implications of full versus partial breastfeeding in research studies, we also believe the method of infant feeding to be significant. Researchers should develop new definitions.

Publication types

  • Editorial