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Journal Article

Infant Mortality and Fertility in three Bavarian Villages: An Analysis of Family Histories from the 19th Century

J. Knodel
Population Studies
Vol. 22, No. 3 (Nov., 1968), pp. 297-318
DOI: 10.2307/2172997
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2172997
Page Count: 22

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Topics: Infants, Infant mortality, Children, Parishes, Breastfeeding, Death, Childbirth, Lactation, Mortality, Mothers
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Infant Mortality and Fertility in three Bavarian Villages: An Analysis of Family Histories from the 19th Century
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Abstract

Family history data derived from the records of three parishes in Bavaria provide evidence for several important demographic questions when analysed in conjunction with information concerning the prevalent breast-feeding practices. The results suggest strongly that breast feeding can prolong birth intervals substantially. The evidence concerning the independent influence of infant deaths on subsequent birth intervals is inconclusive. It is clear, however, that even if such an influence did exist it was relatively small, compared to the effect of lactation. In addition the results do not lend support to the hypothesis that couples experiencing low child mortality practised family limitation more than couples experiencing high child mortality. In all three parishes, however, fertility appeared to influence infant mortality. Infants born after short intervals were subject to considerably higher mortality risks than infants following longer intervals.

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