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The all breast-milk for at least six months recommendation I think was a reaction to the reports of formula being marketed in primarily Africa, leading to infant deaths (mostly through bad water). WHO started promoting the recommendation through the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative in 1992.
As with lots of opinions about children, the recommendation was taken to the extremes by some (or many) in health care and in parental support organisations and formulated as the One Right Way To Do It. In Sweden at least, I think a backlash has been growing for some time now, with more mothers demanding to know their options rather then having a set recommendation.
Image from Protecting Children of Finland publication from 1920, written by a young doctor Arvo Ylppö. He had studied in Germany, where newborn mortality was a very hot topic with new research institutes founded just before WWI.
I believe they lowered infant mortality rates from 20-25% to 5-6% mainly by promoting breastfeeding in less than a decade. Schools, hospitals, newspapers, magazines and radio were all used as channels.
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