The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age. Maternal attitudes toward infant feeding are correlated with chosen feeding method and breastfeeding duration. The Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Scale (IIFAS) has been used to assess attitudes towards breastfeeding prenatally and is predictive of breastfeeding decisions in certain population groups.
In a cohort of pregnant Latina women recruited from two hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area (n=185), we administered the IIFAS prior to delivery. Information regarding feeding choice, maternal sociodemographic information, and anthropometrics were collected at 6 months and 1 year postpartum. Analysis of predictors for breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 and 12 months and exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression adjusting for potential confounders.
In our cohort of Latina mothers, breastfeeding a previous infant was associated with breastfeeding initiation (OR 8.29 [95% CI 1.00, 68.40] p = 0.05) and breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 18.34 [95% CI 2.01, 167.24] p = 0.01). College education was associated with increased exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months (OR 58.67 [95% CI 4.97, 692.08] p = 0.001) and having other children was associated with reduced breastfeeding at six months (OR 0.08 [95% CI 0.01, 0.70] p = 0.02). A higher IIFAS score was not associated with breastfeeding initiation, breastfeeding at 6 or 12 months or exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months of age.
Initial choices about breastfeeding will likely influence future breastfeeding decisions, so breastfeeding interventions should specifically target new mothers. Mothers with other children also need additional encouragement to maintain breastfeeding until 6 months of age. The IIFAS, while predictive of breastfeeding decisions in other population groups, was not associated with feeding decisions in our population of Latina mothers.
Breastfeeding; Latina; Lower socioeconomic status; Obesity
The main objective of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the attitudes of the mother and her family towards breastfeeding and the actual feeding pattern in a Bolivian population. A second objective was to study the relationship between breastfeeding information, specified according to source and timing, and feeding pattern.
Cross-sectional interviews with 420–502 Bolivian mothers with an infant less than or equal to 1 year of age. Duration of exclusive breastfeeding, use of prelacteal food and/or colostrum were the main outcome measures.
The attitudes of the mother, her partner (the infant's father) and the infant's grandmother towards breastfeeding did not influence the infant feeding pattern. Women who had received breastfeeding information from health care personnel before birth or on the maternity ward breastfed exclusively for a longer duration (adjusted p = 0.0233) and avoided prelacteal food to a greater extent (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.42; 95% confidence interval for adjusted odds ratio (95% CI AOR) = 0.23–0.72). Information from a doctor before birth or on the maternity ward was associated with less use of prelacteal food (AOR = 0.53; 95% CI AOR = 0.31–0.93), an increased use of colostrum (AOR = 3.30; 95% CI AOR = 1.16–9.37), but was not linked to the duration of exclusive breastfeeding (p = 0.1767).
The current study indicates that breastfeeding information delivered by health care personnel in a non-trial setting may affect the infant feeding pattern including the use of prelacteal foods and colostrum. There was no evidence that the attitudes of the mother, or the infant's father or grandmother influenced actual feeding behavior. The lack of a "negative or neutral attitude" towards breastfeeding in the participants of the current study does, however, diminish the chances to link attitude to feeding behavior.
The purpose of this study was to assess whether providing a breastfeeding support team (BST) results in higher breastfeeding rates at 6, 12, and 24 weeks postpartum among urban low-income mothers.
Design: A randomized controlled trial with mother-infant dyads recruited from two urban hospitals. Participants: Breastfeeding mothers of full term infants who were eligible for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) (n=328) were randomized to intervention (n=168) or usual care group (n=160). Intervention: The 24 week intervention included hospital visits by a breastfeeding support team (BST), home visits, telephone support, and 24 hour pager access. The usual care group received standard care. Outcome Measure: Breastfeeding status was assessed by self report at 6, 12, and 24 weeks postpartum.
There were no differences in the sociodemographic characteristics between the groups: 87% were African American, 80% single, and 51% primiparous. Compared to the usual care group, more women reported breastfeeding in the intervention at 6 weeks postpartum, 66.7% vs. 56.9% OR 1.71 (95% CI 1.07, 2.76). The difference in rates at 12 weeks postpartum, 49.4% versus 40.6%, and 24 weeks postpartum, 29.2% versus 28.1%, were not statistically significant.
The intervention group was more likely to be breastfeeding at six weeks postpartum compared with usual care group, a time that coincided with the most intensive part of the intervention.
breastfeeding; low-income mothers; randomized controlled trial; community intervention
The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between maternal nutrition knowledge and maternal socio-demographics including participation in the Special Supplemental Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) Program. A cross-sectional study of new mothers at two San Francisco hospitals was conducted using some of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines in a structured questionnaire to assess maternal nutritional knowledge. Maternal nutritional attitudes towards product nutrient labels were also assessed in a questionnaire format. Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the odds of having high maternal nutrition knowledge and of infrequently reading nutrition labels. In multivariate logistic regression models, higher maternal nutrition knowledge (defined as answering all four nutrition questions correctly) was associated with higher income levels defined as ≥$25 000/year, odds ratio (OR) 10.03 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.51–66.74), and in linear models, higher nutritional knowledge was associated with having more children (P < 0.01), a higher income (P = 0.01) and not being a WIC participant (P < 0.01). Mothers with higher incomes were also more likely to read product nutritional labels OR 4.24, 95% CI (1.24–14.51), compared with mothers with lower incomes as were mothers with higher education levels OR 3.32, 95% CI (1.28–8.63). In San Francisco, lower income mothers are at greatest risk for low maternal nutrition knowledge and not reading product nutritional labels. Higher household income was independently associated with increased maternal nutrition knowledge and likelihood of reading nutritional labels. More comprehensive interventions need to target low-income mothers including current WIC participants to help close the nutritional advantages gap conferred by income and education.
maternal nutrition knowledge; nutrient labels; WIC Program
Eleven federally-funded datasets assessing breastfeeding behaviors in the US (Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Infant Feeding Practices Survey II, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, National Immunization Survey, National Survey of Children's Health, National Survey of Early Childhood Health, National Survey of Family Growth, Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System, Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System, Pregnancy Risk Assessment Survey, and WIC Participant and Program Characteristics) were reviewed to evaluate the breastfeeding variables (initiation, duration and exclusivity) and determine if relevant breastfeeding determinants were collected to evaluate breastfeeding practices from a health disparities perspective. The datasets utilized inconsistent breastfeeding definitions, limited ethnic descriptors, and varied regarding availability of relevant determinants. Multiple datasets collect breastfeeding data, but a coordinated US breastfeeding monitoring and surveillance system does not exist. Suggestions to improve this system include: standardizing breastfeeding definitions, expanding ethnic/racial descriptors, collecting additional relevant variables, and reducing recall periods.
The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food, nutrition and health education, and social services referral to pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, and their infants and young children who are both low-income and at nutritional risk. A number of statistically controlled evaluations that compared prenatal women who received WIC services with demographically similar women who did not receive WIC services have found WIC enrollment associated with decreased levels of low birth weight among enrolled women's infants. Several also have found lower overall maternal and infant hospital costs among women who had received prenatal WIC services compared with similar women who did not receive prenatal WIC services. A meta-analysis of the studies shows that providing WIC benefits to pregnant women is estimated to reduce low birth weight rates 25 percent and reduce very low birth weight births by 44 percent. Using these data to estimate costs, prenatal WIC enrollment is estimated to have reduced first year medical costs for U.S. infants by $1.19 billion in 1992. Savings from a reduction in estimated Medicaid expenditures in the first year post-partum more than offset the cost of the Federal prenatal WIC Program. Even using more conservative assumptions, providing prenatal WIC benefits was cost-beneficial. Because of the estimated program cost-savings, the U.S. General Accounting Office has recommended that all pregnant women at or below 185 percent of Federal poverty level be eligible for the program.
Research points to the importance of breastfeeding for promoting close mother-infant contact and social-emotional development. Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified brain regions related to maternal behaviors. However, little research has addressed the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the relationship between breastfeeding and maternal behavior in human mothers. We investigated the associations between breastfeeding, maternal brain response to own infant stimuli, and maternal sensitivity in the early postpartum.
Seventeen biological mothers of healthy infants participated in two matched groups according to feeding method – exclusive breastfeeding and exclusive formula-feeding at 2-4 weeks postpartum. fMRI scanning was conducted in the first postpartum month to examine maternal brain activation in response to her own baby's cry versus control baby-cry. Dyadic interactions between mothers and infants at 3-4 months postpartum were videotaped in the home and blindly coded for maternal sensitivity.
In the first postpartum month, breastfeeding mothers showed greater activations in the superior frontal gyrus, insula, precuneus, striatum, and amygdala while listening to their own baby-cry as compared to formula-feeding mothers. For both breastfeeding and formula-feeding mothers, greater activations in the right superior frontal gyrus and amygdala were associated with higher maternal sensitivity at 3-4 months postpartum.
Results suggest links between breastfeeding and greater response to infant cues in brain regions implicated in maternal-infant bonding and empathy during the early postpartum. Such brain activations may facilitate greater maternal sensitivity as infants enter their social world.
breastfeeding; infancy; maternal sensitivity; mother-infant interaction; neuroimaging
The benefits of breastfeeding are well established. However, despite this fact, rates of breastfeeding continue to be low, falling far below the goals of Healthy People 2010. Rates are even lower among ethnic minority and low-income women. In this study, we attempt to identify the factors that most influence a mother's choice of infant feeding method in an urban predominately African-American population. Phone interviews of 70 women who delivered full-term infants at an urban tertiary care hospital were conducted in order to explore knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about breastfeeding of the mothers and that of members of their social support network. Ten mothers (14%) exclusively breastfed. Older, caucasian, and married women were more likely to breastfeed. Breastfeeding mothers reported more partner support as well as more family knowledge about breastfeeding and had more positive attitudes about breastfeeding. Healthcare providers were not directly influential in mother's feeding choice. From this study, we conclude that in this population, the mother's partner and family are most influential in the choice of infant feeding method and, thus, should be included in breastfeeding promotion programs.
To prevent postnatal transmission of HIV in settings where safe alternatives to breastfeeding are unavailable, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding followed by early, rapid cessation of breastfeeding. Only limited data are available on the attitudes of health workers toward this recommendation and the impact of these attitudes on infant feeding counselling messages given to mothers.
As part of the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition (BAN) clinical trial, we carried out an in-depth qualitative study of the attitudes, beliefs, and counselling messages of 19 health workers in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Although none of the workers had received formal training, several reported having counseled HIV-positive mothers about infant feeding. Health workers with counselling experience believed that HIV-infected mothers should breastfeed exclusively, rather than infant formula feed, citing poverty as the primary reason. Because of high levels of malnutrition, all the workers had concerns about early cessation of breastfeeding.
Important differences were observed between the WHO recommendations and the attitudes and practices of the health workers. Understanding these differences is important for designing effective interventions.
Studies using community-based breastfeeding counselors (CBBCs) have repeatedly shown positive impact on breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration, particularly among low-income mothers. To date, there has not been a comprehensive study to determine the impact of CBBC attributes such as educational background and training, on the type of care that CBBCs provide.
This was a cross-sectional study of a convenience sample of CBBCs to ascertain the influence of counselor education and type of training on type of support and proficiency of CBBCs in communities across the United States. Invitations to participate in this online survey of CBBCs were e-mailed to program coordinators of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), La Leche League, and other community-based health organizations, who in turn invited and encouraged their CBBCs to participate. Descriptive analysis was used to describe participants (N = 847), while bivariate analysis using χ2 test was used to examine the differences between CBBC education, training received and breastfeeding support skills used. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the independent determinants of specific breastfeeding support skills.
The major findings from the research indicate that overall, educational attainment of CBBCs is not a significant predictor for the curriculum used in their training and type of support skills used during counseling sessions, but initial training duration was positively associated with the use of many breastfeeding support skills. Another major influence of counselor support to clients is the type of continuing education they receive after their initial training, with higher likelihood of use of desirable support skills associated with counselors continuing their breastfeeding education at conferences or trainings away from their job sites.
Our results show that different programs use different training curricula to train their CBBCs varying in duration and content. Counselor education is not a significant predictor of the type of training they receive. Continuing breastfeeding education is a significant determinant of type of counseling techniques used with clients. Further research is therefore needed to critically examine the content of the various training curricula of CBBC programs. This may show a need for a standardized training curriculum for all CBBC programs worldwide to make CBBCs more proficient and efficient, ensuring successful and optimum breastfeeding experiences for mothers and their newborns.
OBJECTIVE: This study determined rates of breastfeeding advice given to African American and white women by medical providers and WIC nutrition counselors, and sought to determine whether racial differences in advice contributed to racial differences in rates of breastfeeding. METHODS: The study used data from the 1988 National Maternal and Infant Health Survey, a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of mothers with a live birth, infant death, or fetal death in 1988. The authors compared white women (n=3,966) and African American women (n=4,791) with a live birth in 1988 on self-reported rates of medical provider and WIC advice to breastfeed, WIC advice to bottlefeed, and breastfeeding. RESULTS: Self-reported racial identification did not predict medical provider advice. However, being African American was associated with less likelihood of breastfeeding advice and greater likelihood of bottlefeeding advice from WIC nutrition counselors. In multivariate analyses controlling for differences in advice, being African American was independently associated with lower breastfeeding rates (odds ratio [OR] = 0.41, 95% CI 0.32, 0.52). CONCLUSIONS: African American women were less likely than white women to report having received breastfeeding advice from WIC counselors and more likely to report having received bottlefeeding advice from WIC counselors. However, African American and white women were equally likely to report having received breastfeeding advice from medical providers. Lower rates of breastfeeding advice from medical or nutritional professionals do not account for lower rates of breastfeeding among African American women.
Before any breastfeeding promotion effort, an understanding of the existing breastfeeding patterns is essential. Hawai‘i County is a rural, ethnically diverse, medically underserved community. The purpose of this study was to describe the breastfeeding patterns of women living in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Data from several existing national, state, and local data sets were accessed to identify and describe the breastfeeding patterns of women in this community. Available breastfeeding data about women in Hilo was obtained from the Hawai‘i WIC program and includes initiation, duration, exclusivity of breastfeeding, and reasons for not breastfeeding. These data were compared to data from published reports available at the county, state, and national level. The State of Hawai‘i and Hilo exceed national targets for breastfeeding initiation; however, rates soon drop following delivery, and mixed feedings of infants is common. The highest percentage of mothers weaned their infants within the first four weeks postpartum. The reasons the majority of the mothers gave for weaning were tied to breastfeeding situations that are amenable to skilled lactation support (eg, milk supply issues and latch or sucking problems). While available data sets offer valuable information on the breastfeeding patterns in this rural community, there are limitations to their usefulness, primarily due to the inconsistent operational definitions of infant feeding variables used in the surveys, and the lack of availability of community level data.
This retrospective study aimed to identify factors associated with breastfeeding duration among women enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) of Hartford, Connecticut. The authors included mothers whose children were younger than 5 years and had stopped breastfeeding (N = 155). Women who had planned their pregnancies were twice as likely as those who did not plan them to breastfeed for more than 6 months (odds ratio, 2.15; 95% confidence interval, 1.00–4.64). One additional year of maternal age was associated with a 9% increase on the likelihood of breastfeeding for more than 6 months (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.17). Time in the United States was inversely associated with the likelihood of breastfeeding for more than 6 months (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.92–0.99). Return to work, sore nipples, lack of access to breast pumps, and free formula provided by WIC were identified as breastfeeding barriers. Findings can help WIC improve its breastfeeding promotion efforts.
acculturation; breastfeeding; pregnancy intention; support system; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women; Infants; Children (WIC)
The United States' Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) distributes about half the infant formula used in the United States at no cost to the families. This is a matter of concern because it is known that feeding with infant formula results in worse health outcomes for infants than breastfeeding.
The evidence that is available indicates that the WIC program has the effect of promoting the use of infant formula, thus placing infants at higher risk. Moreover, the program violates the widely accepted principles that have been set out in the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and in the human right to adequate food.
There is no good reason for an agency of government to distribute large quantities of free infant formula. It is recommended that the large-scale distribution of free infant formula by the WIC program should be phased out.
Despite growing evidence that supports the importance of 6-month exclusive breastfeeding, few Canadian mothers adhere to this, and early weaning onto solids is a common practice. This study assessed infant feeding transitions during the first 6 months postpartum and factors that predicted exclusive breastfeeding to 3 and 6 months.
This prospective cohort study was part of the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition study (APrON). From an initial sample of 600 pregnant women recruited from Edmonton and Calgary, 402 mothers provided complete details at 3 months postpartum; 300 stayed on to provide information at 6 months postpartum. During pregnancy and at 3 and 6 months postpartum, data on maternal and infant socio-demographic, behavior, and feeding were collected.
Even though there was a high rate of “ever having breastfed” (98.6%), exclusive breastfeeding rates for 3 and 6 months were 54.0% and 15.3%, respectively. After controlling for potential confounders, the study showed that mothers who held post-graduate university degrees were 3.76 times more likely to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months than those without a university degree (95% CI: 1.30-10.92; p = 0.015). In addition, mother of previous children were more likely to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months (OR: 2.21, 95% CI: 1.08-4.52; p = 0.031). Mothers who were in the highest quartile of the Iowa Infant Feeding Attitude Score were 4.29 and 5.40 times more likely to breastfeed exclusively for 3 months (95% CI: 1.31-14.08; p-trend < 0.001) and 6 months (95% CI: 2.75-10.60; P-trend < 0.001), respectively.
The 6-month exclusive breastfeeding rate in Alberta is considerably below national and international breastfeeding recommendations. Professional advice that focuses on prenatal maternal knowledge, attitudes, and misperceptions may promote adherence to World Health Organization breastfeeding guidelines. Knowing that exclusive breastfeeding is less likely to take place among lower-educated, primiparous women may help health practitioners focus their support and education for this group.
Exclusive breastfeeding; Predictors; Canada; Alberta pregnancy outcomes; Nutrition study
Breastfeeding is a cost-effective public health intervention that reduces infant morbidity and mortality in developing countries. In Lebanon, breastfeeding exclusivity and continuation rates are disappointingly low. This qualitative study aims at identifying barriers and promoters of breastfeeding in the Lebanese context by exploring mothers' perceptions and experiences in breastfeeding over a one year period.
We conducted focus group discussions in three hospitals in Beirut, Lebanon, and followed up 36 breastfeeding mothers with serial in-depth interviews for one year post-partum or until breastfeeding discontinuation.
Themes generated from baseline interviews revealed several positive and negative perceptions of breastfeeding. Longitudinal follow up identified insufficient milk, fear of weight gain or breast sagging, pain, sleep deprivation, exhaustion, or maternal employment, as reasons for early breastfeeding discontinuation. Women who continued breastfeeding for one year were more determined to succeed and overcome any barrier, relying mostly on family support and proper time management.
Increasing awareness of future mothers about breast feeding difficulties, its benefits to children, mothers, and society at large may further promote breastfeeding, and improve exclusivity and continuation rates in Lebanon. A national strategy for early intervention during school years to increase young women's awareness may improve their self-confidence and determination to succeed in breastfeeding later. Moreover, prolonging maternity leave, having day-care facilities at work, creation of lactation peer support groups and hotlines, and training of doctors and nurses in proper lactation support may positively impact breastfeeding exclusivity and continuation rates. Further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of proposed interventions in the Lebanese context.
Breast feeding; Qualitative research; Lebanon
Women gain total body weight and accrue body fat during pregnancy. Breastfeeding has been suggested as an efficient means of promoting postpartum weight loss due to its high energy cost. We investigated the effect of infant feeding mode on maternal body composition.
This study evaluated maternal weight and percent body fat changes in exclusively breastfeeding versus mixed feeding mothers during the first 12 weeks postpartum using the BOD POD. Twenty four mothers aged 19 – 42 years were studied. Participants were recruited from Athens-Clarke County and surrounding areas of the State of Georgia, USA. The study was conducted between November 2005 and December 2006.
Prepregnancy weight was higher in mixed feeding mothers than in exclusively breastfeeding mothers (68.4 kg vs. 61.4 kg) but the difference was not statistically significant. At 12 weeks postpartum, exclusively breastfeeding mothers had lost more total body weight than mixed feeding mothers (4.41 ± 4.10 kg versus 2.79 ± 3.09 kg; p = 0.072). There was no significant difference in fat weight change between the two groups (4.38 ± 2.06 kg versus 4.17 ± 2.63 kg). However, mixed feeding mothers lost slightly more percent body fat than exclusively breastfeeding mothers (1.90 ± 4.18 kg versus 1.71 ± 3.48 kg), but the difference was not statistically significant. The trend in percent body fat loss was significant among exclusively breastfeeding mothers (p = 0.034) but not mixed feeding mothers (p = 0.081). Exclusively breastfeeding mothers consumed more calories than mixed feeding mothers (1980 ± 618 kcal versus 1541 ± 196 kcal p = 0.08). Physical activity levels were, however, higher in mixed feeding mothers than exclusively breastfeeding mothers.
Our results provide further evidence that exclusive breastfeeding promotes greater weight loss than mixed feeding among mothers even in the early postpartum period. This suggests that there is the need to encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed as a means of overweight and obesity prevention.
International guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months among HIV-infected mothers choosing to breastfeed and cessation thereafter if replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe. When mothers wean they are challenged to provide an adequate replacement diet. This study investigates the use and acceptability of a lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) as a breastmilk substitute when provided to infants (6-12mo) of HIV-positive mothers, as part of the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral, and Nutrition (BAN) Study. A sub-sample of mothers (n=45) participated in interviews that explored exclusive breastfeeding, weaning, and strategies to feed LNS. Mothers reported several weaning strategies, including gradual reduction of breastfeeding, expressing breastmilk into a cup, and separation of mother and child. LNS, a peanut-based micronutrient fortified paste, was highly accepted and incorporated into the traditional diet. Weaning is a feasible HIV prevention method among this population in Malawi when supported by the provision of LNS as a breastmilk substitute.
HIV; infant feeding; breastfeeding; weaning; LNS
This study used a retrospective comparison of 2 naturally occurring groups, first to examine how exclusive versus partial breastfeeding relates to duration of breastfeeding and, second, to determine if factors such as age and body mass index are associated with exclusive versus partial breastfeeding duration. These factors were hypothesized to influence the amount of breastfeeding in a sample of 42 low-income mothers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children of a predominately rural, Midwestern county. This study examined de-identified data from a state database spanning a calendar year. Breastfeeding behavior, age, and body mass index measurements for mothers giving birth within the first 6 months of that year were analyzed. Exclusive breastfeeding mothers breastfed longer, were of older age, and had lower body mass indexes than partial breastfeeding mothers. These findings further describe characteristics of low-income breastfeeding women. Understanding how factors associated with exclusive versus partial breastfeeding affect breastfeeding duration may inform clinicians and researchers of areas for future interventions.
exclusive breastfeeding; partial breastfeeding; low income; WIC; BMI
The objective of this study was to explore Somali mothers’ beliefs and practices around infant feeding and education, towards developing a culturally informed infant nutrition curriculum for health providers. Four focus groups were conducted to explore: (1) beliefs about infant feeding, hunger and ideal weight; (2) feeding practices; (3) nutrition education approaches; and (4) provider/mother interactions. Thirty-seven Somali mother participants identified the following themes within these topics: (1) strategies for assessing hunger, satiety and when to feed; shared beliefs that plump babies are healthy, leading to worry about infant weight; (2) context of breast milk adequacy, difficulties breastfeeding and environmental and cultural barriers to breastfeeding, leading to nearly universal early supplementation with formula; (3) preferred education approaches include provider visits with interpreters, Somali language educational materials and advice from older, experienced family members; and (4) desired health provider skills include: listening, explaining, empathy, addressing specific concerns, repeating important information, offering preventive advice and sufficient visit time. This study presents knowledge about Somali beliefs and practices that can directly guide discussions with these families. Given that these infants appear on a trajectory towards obesity, influencing infant feeding practices in the Somali community is a good upstream approach to preventing obesity. These findings will underpin a new infant nutrition curriculum for health providers.
infant nutrition; breastfeeding; infant formula; health promotion; health knowledge; attitudes; practice; physician-patient relations; cultural competency; focus groups; Somali
We assessed the uptake of a nutritional intervention promoting exclusive breastfeeding with early cessation between three and four months of age to reduce postnatal transmission of HIV in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Between March 2001 and March 2003, HIV infected pregnant women who had received a perinatal antiretroviral prophylaxis were systematically offered prenatally two infant feeding interventions: either artificial feeding, or exclusive breastfeeding during three months then early cessation of breastfeeding. Mother-infant pairs were closely followed for a period of two years, with continuous nutritional counseling and detailed collection of feeding practices.
Among the 557 mothers enrolled, 262 (47%) initiated breastfeeding. Of these women, the probability of practicing exclusive breastfeeding from birth was 18% and 10% at one and three months of age, respectively. Complete cessation of breastfeeding was obtained in 45% and 63% by four and six months of age, respectively. Environmental factors such as living with partner’s family were associated with failure to initiate early cessation of breastfeeding.
Acceptability of exclusive breastfeeding was low in this urban population. However, shortening the duration of breastfeeding appeared to be feasible. Further investigations are ongoing to fully evaluate the safety and effectiveness of this intervention in reducing breastmilk HIV transmission.
Breast Feeding; Cohort Studies; Cote d'Ivoire; Disease Transmission, Vertical; prevention & control; Female; HIV Infections; prevention & control; transmission; Humans; Infant; Infant Food; Infant; Newborn; Milk; Human; virology; Patient Acceptance of Health Care; Time Factors; Weaning
A prospective cohort study of 1,520 mothers from Zhejiang province of China was undertaken to determine the duration of breastfeeding and associated factors during the first six months postpartum. Most (95.3%) mothers had introduced complementary foods by six months, making them at risk from contaminated infant formula. The mean duration of ‘any breastfeeding’ was greater than 180 days but only 48 days for ‘exclusive breastfeeding’. Factors relating to cessation of any breastfeeding were maternal age, timing of the breastfeeding decision, admission of the infant to a special-care nursery, return of the mother to work, the early introduction of water and/or other complementary foods, and their location of residence. The introduction of infant formula before three months was positively associated with the late decision to breastfeed, births in city, and infants being given a prelacteal feed. To combat the melamine disaster, strategies to improve the duration of breastfeeding must be developed taking these factors into account.
Breastfeeding; Cohort studies; Disasters; Exclusive breastfeeding; Melamine; Melamine disasters; Prospective studies; China
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended as the optimal way to feed infants for the first six months of life. While overall breastfeeding rates are high, exclusive breastfeeding is relatively uncommon among Middle Eastern women. The objective of this study was to identify the incidence of breastfeeding amongst women in the six governorates of Kuwait and the factors associated with the initiation of breastfeeding.
A sample of 373 women (aged 17-47 years), recruited shortly after delivery from four hospitals in Kuwait, completed a structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify those factors independently associated with the initiation of breastfeeding.
In total, 92.5% of mothers initiated breastfeeding and at discharge from hospital the majority of mothers were partially breastfeeding (55%), with only 30% of mothers fully breastfeeding. Prelacteal feeding was the norm (81.8%) and less than 1 in 5 infants (18.2%) received colostrum as their first feed. Only 10.5% of infants had been exclusively breastfed since birth, the remainder of the breastfed infants having received either prelacteal or supplementary infant formula feeds at some time during their hospital stay. Of the mothers who attempted to breastfeed, the majority of women (55.4%) delayed their first attempt to breastfeed until 24 hours or more after delivery. Breastfeeding at discharge from hospital was positively associated with paternal support for breastfeeding and negatively associated with delivery by caesarean section and with the infant having spent time in the Special Care Nursery.
The reasons for the high use of prelacteal and supplementary formula feeding warrant investigation. Hospital policies and staff training are needed to promote the early initiation of breastfeeding and to discourage the unnecessary use of infant formula in hospital, in order to support the establishment of exclusive breastfeeding by mothers in Kuwait.
The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food, nutrition education, and referrals to available health and welfare services. Recipients are income-eligible pregnant and postpartum women, their infants, and their children who are younger than 5 years of age. Although studies have documented the nutritional benefits of the program, the extent to which WIC nutritionists help eligible women to obtain available health and welfare services, and the degree to which this referral activity promotes health, is largely unknown. The researchers examined the referral activity at one urban WIC clinic, but did not evaluate the outcomes. Of 1,850 persons seen, there were 762 referrals by WIC nutritionists for 597 persons at the Lawrence, MA, clinic during a 2-month period. Of the 597 persons, 494 (83 percent) were WIC participants and 103 (17 percent) were nonparticipants. The rate of referrals for WIC participants was 27 percent. Multiple referrals were common, with 127 people receiving more than one referral. WIC nutritionists at this site offered a variety of referrals to their clients. The majority of referrals (61.7 percent) were for supplemented food. Nonnutrition-related referrals were to medical and dental services (20.5 percent), developmental and educational services (12.5 percent), and social services (5.4 percent). Nonnutrition-related referrals for women included referrals for family planning, substance abuse, job training, teenaged parenting, and high school equivalency programs. Infants and children were referred for dental care, growth failure, the Head Start Program, kindergarten enrollment, early intervention, and protective services.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Although Hawaii has high breastfeeding initiation rates (89%), Native Hawaiian WIC* participants have much lower initiation (64%) rates. Little is known about why these disparities occur. The study’s aim was to describe the breastfeeding patterns of Hawaiian/part-Hawaiian women enrolled in the WIC who had initiated breastfeeding. Retrospective descriptive data (N = 200) were gathered from WIC records. Descriptive and parametric statistics with univariate and multivariate analysis of breastfeeding patterns were completed. Mothers exclusively breastfeeding at initiation weaned significantly later and were significantly more likely to breastfeed for 6 months than were mothers who partially breastfed. Practice and policy implications of these findings are discussed.
breastfeeding; Native Hawaiian; Women; Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program