I use the Indian National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) data collected in 2006 to study the determinants of a mother's decision to breastfeed her child, and social factors that influence the duration of breastfeeding. More specifically, I examine the influence of family structure and gender of the child on mother's choice to either breastfeed exclusively, supplement breast milk or not to breastfeed her child. I do not find any gender-bias in the choice to breastfeed an infant- more than 95% of the children in the sample are breastfed. Duration of family structure is surprisingly a strong determinant of duration of breastfeeding, women living in joint family breastfeed for significantly shorter duration.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/nisha_malhotra/21/