Full text: Problems in eugenics

Exhibit C 65—73.31 
Figure C 65 enables us to examine into the influence exercised by aL_longei_or 
shorter^interval^fter^jthe^^recedingbirthon^he^kalit^^o^^^child, according 
as to whether the child was not breast-fed at all or only moderately or 
amply so. The black oblongs demonstrate that the average infant mortality 
falls regularly and decisively according to the length of time between the 
birth of the children considered and their predecessors. The average 
mortality of infants who are born in rapid succession—under one year, one 
to one and a quarter years, amounts to over 25 and to 22 per cent, respec­ 
tively, whereas the average mortality of children with at least two years’ 
interval amounts only to rr per cent. “At the same time, however, it is 
observed that the influence of the length of suckling is still greater than 
that of the length of time elapsing between births. Even with an interval 
of three or more years, the mortality of children who were insufficiently or 
not at all breast-fed was above 20 per cent. The children who had been 
suckled for at least three-quarters of a year were only very slightly 
influenced by this factor in all groups, except that with a birth interval 
of less than one year, where the influence of short birth intervals is not 
counterbalanced even by long extended breast-feeding.” 
Figure C 66. “The infant mortality within the families dealt with falls £ 55 
materially and evenly as the average birth intervals lengthen. With an aver­ 
age birth interval of less than one year, one-third of the children die in the 
first year, but only 7 per cent, where the average birth interval was over 
three years; but here also the influence is strongly modified by the mode of 
feeding. With the non-suckling families the mortality is ‘almost 25 per cent., 
even with a birth interval of more than two years. On the other hand, when 
the duration of suckling is sufficient, short birth intervals almost disappear 
(see Table 2), and with an average birth interval of ij to 2 years and a 
suckling duration of at least half a year the mortality remains on an 
extremely small scale.” 
Groth and Hahn have exhibited two large tables C 67 and C 68 C 67-73 
and a similar one C 69, the results of their important investigations 
about breast-ieeding and mortality in the administrative districts of 
Bavaria. Groth shows in Table C 70 “ mortality of sucklings in 
Bavaria,” and in Table C 71 “breast-feeding and cancer.” In 
Tables C 72 and C 73 the Groth and Hahn statistics are treated 
by Dr. A. Bluhm from the point of view of the influence of the 
habit of breast-feeding on the frequency of births. In connection 
with Figure C 73 she remarks : “ This diagram shows the number of 
bottle-fed babies in the various Bavarian districts counted at the time of 
vaccination. To give as correct a picture as possible of the probable 
influence which the habit of breast-feeding has on the birth-rate (annual 
number of births per 1,000 of the whole population) there are repre­ 
sented on this figure by green and yellow columns the average birth­ 
rate for the five years, 1875 to 1879, because in that period a record 
birth-rate was established, so that it may be assumed that there was 
then no intentional restriction of births. We see within the four ‘ old 
Bavarian 5 districts, where on the average 64.1% of the babies were 
not breast-fed at all, the number of births is about 4 per 1,000 of 
the population higher than in the Palatinate and the three * Frankish ’ 
districts, which together only show 18% of non-breast-fed children.”

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