How Prosperity Determines Breastfeeding in Developing Countries

In her study, Se­line Spill­mann an­a­lyzes the ben­e­fits of breast­feed­ing on child health in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. With her out­stand­ing mas­ter’s the­sis en­ti­tled “Breast­feed­ing in De­vel­op­ing Coun­tries: Se­lec­tion and Ef­fects,” Se­line Spill­mann makes a de­ci­sive con­tri­bu­tion to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals SDG 2 “Zero Hunger” and SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-be­ing.” For this, she was nom­i­nat­ed for the SDG Im­pact Award by the Fac­ul­ty of Busi­ness, Eco­nom­ics, and In­for­mat­ics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Zurich.

Se­line has been a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Zurich since 2016, with a ma­jor in eco­nom­ics. She grad­u­at­ed with a mas­ter’s de­gree in Feb­ru­ary 2023 and will start an in­tern­ship at the end of April at Swiss Eco­nom­ics SE AG

“Poorer mothers often breastfeed their children longer than more advantaged mothers.”

Many moth­ers are un­der great pres­sure to breast­feed their chil­dren. This can have a neg­a­tive im­pact on their men­tal health. To in­ves­ti­gate the ben­e­fits of breast­feed­ing on child health, Se­line sta­tis­ti­cal­ly an­a­lyzed data from de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. She found that poor­er moth­ers of­ten breast­feed their chil­dren longer than more ad­van­taged moth­ers. Al­though the data do not pro­vide a clear link be­tween breast­feed­ing and child health, there is cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence that breast­feed­ing is par­tic­u­lar­ly ben­e­fi­cial when the fam­i­ly does not have ac­cess to clean wa­ter. In ad­di­tion, breast­feed­ing has an im­pact on chil­dren’s nu­tri­tion: young in­fants who are not breast­fed of­ten re­ceive in­ad­e­quate nu­tri­tion, while old­er ba­bies and tod­dlers re­ceive too lit­tle sol­id food if they are breast­fed for a very long time. These as­pects must be tak­en into ac­count in breast­feed­ing pro­mo­tion.

Read mas­ter the­sis

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