Breastfeeding has significant health and human capital effects on both mothers and infants. However, breastfeeding rates vary significantly within and across countries as societal, political, economic and cultural factors along with individual choices shape the breastfeeding practices. Using data from the Egyptian Demographic and Health Surveys, this study examines the effects of first motherhood timing, availability of breastmilk substitutes, and mothers’ education levels on breastfeeding duration in a major developing country, Egypt. The empirical analysis, which corrects for the estimation errors that plagued previous research, shows that delaying the first motherhood timing and increasing the availability of infant formulas have statistically significant negative effects on breastfeeding duration. Furthermore, breastfeeding duration is found to be decreasing in mothers’ education levels.

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