OBJECTIVE: To describe breastfeeding trends from 2002 to 2012/2013, and to investigate whether breastfeeding practices differ between mothers of children in public and private schools .
METHODS: Data were obtained from three school-based cross-sectional studies conducted with 7 to 10 years old children . The total sample was 7264 individuals . Data related to breastfeeding were analyzed descriptively and compared using the chi-square test for heterogeneity or trend .
RESULTS: In the 10-year period was observed a decrease in the total percentage of schoolchildren who were not breastfed (12.9% -10.5 %) and an increase in the percentage of schoolchildren breastfed for> 12 months (23.9% -36.7 %). In public schools, the increase of breastfeeding for> 12 months was independent of maternal age and years of schooling . In private schools, the increase was observed for schoolchildren born to older mothers and to more educated mothers, although the highest percentage was observed for schoolchildren born to less educated mothers .
CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm the complexity of determining breastfeeding behaviors, and understanding these dynamics is fundamental to develop and improve programs and actions aimed at encouraging, supporting, and protecting breastfeeding . However, strategies developed in Brazil during the first decade of the 21st century should explain the increase of proportion of breastfed children for more than 12 months, and the concomitant decrease of never breastfeed children in the city of Florianopolis (Southern Brazil).
MeSH: Brazil, Breast Feeding, statistics & numerical data, Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Male, Schools, classification, Social Class, Time Factors