The project

This project pertains to the interdisciplinary field of interdisciplinary research on the practices of breast-feeding.

It has 2 complementary parts, one anthropological, the other biological and psychobiological.

– The anthropological part aims to document the practices and representations related to neonatal C consumption – much less understood than those related to breastfeeding – in 7 different countries (Germany, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, France, Morocco), characterized by contrasting social and cultural contexts. The research includes 4 phases (P1-P4).

P1/ (6 months): building and translation of 2 questionnaires into local language (for the mothers, and nursing staff) to be used in the 10 maternity hospitals selected in the 7 countries. In addition, an interview grid will be built up on the consumption of C for use by different fields covered by this research (in Arabic, Berber, English, German, Khmer, Mooré, Portuguese, Spanish).

P2/ (18 months): The investigation itself, which will be conducted following 2 modalities by means of the documents which will have been elaborated during P1:

  1. a/ (2 months) Questionnaires will be passed in the maternity wards of Augsburg (Germany), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Fes (Morocco), Nice (France), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) Pelotas (Brazil), and Phnom Penh (Cambodia) ;
  2. b/ (4 months) Ethnographic inquiries (observation and interviews). Access to informants will be through the mothers who have been subjected to the questionnaire and to whom we have asked for their consent.

P3 (6 months): data processing and analysis of the results.

P4 (6 months) Writing up and communication results.


– The biological and psychobiological part of the project focuses on two aspects of the C.

1/ its sensory and functional properties (for adults, parents or not, and for newborns), which are largely unknown to date. This part will be run by the Ethology team of CSGA, Dijon (UMR 6265).

2/ to test the immunological potential of C and its effect in the field of respiratory and gut allergies, a series of experiments will be conducted on an animal model. This task will be carried out by the E.A. Immune Tolerance, Hospital L’Archet, Nice.

Overall, the specificity of the project consists in:

  • i)being the first, at an international level, completely dedicated to the very initial phase of human feeding: the ingestion of C ;
  • ii)investigating cultural variables susceptible to explain consumption or not of C in the target countries;
  • iii)raising anthropological and bio-cultural knowledge on the perception of an organic substance such as the C;
  • iv)looking for the biological benefits of C for the prevention of allergic diseases;
  • v)elaborating recommendations that could be useful for public health policies and educational initiatives in the target countries. Notably, expected results could increase the frequency of consumption of neonatal C, the positive effects of which  are widely known for the health of the child

2 réflexions sur « The project »

  1. Bonjour,
    Je m’appelle Laurence GIRARD et je suis formateur entre autres dans le domaine de l’allaitement. Je gère également le site internet de notre organisme ainsi que la recherche et mise à disposition de la bibliographie. Je suis tombée par un heureux hasard sur votre blog ce matin, que je pense mettre dans nos ressources et en tout cas dans nos actualités du mois prochain.
    Pourriez vous me dire où vous en êtes de vos publications passées et à venir ? Je trouve cette recherche à la confluence de la biologie, de la psychologie et de l’anthropologie passionnante et très utile pour les professionnels de terrain, y compris en France.
    Souhaitez vous que nous relayions vos publications ?
    Bien à vous,
    Laurence GIRARD

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L’alimentation pré-lactée (don et consommation néonatale du colostrum) : pratiques, représentations et enjeux de santé publique

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