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Breast and complementary feeding practices in relation to morbidity and growth in Malawian infants

Kalanda, Boniface F., Verhoeff, Francine H. and Brabin, Bernard (2006) 'Breast and complementary feeding practices in relation to morbidity and growth in Malawian infants'. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 60, Issue 3, pp. 401-407.

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Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare growth, morbidity incidence and risk factors for undernutrition between infants receiving complementary feeding early, before 3 months of age, with those receiving complementary foods after 3 months in a poor rural Malawian community.
Methods: A cohort of babies was enrolled at birth for follow-up to 12 months of age. Weight, length, morbidity and feeding patterns were recorded at 4 weekly intervals from birth to 52 weeks.
Results: Mean age at introduction of water was 2.5 months ( range 0 - 11.8), complementary foods 3.4 months ( range, 1.0 - 10.7) and solids 4.5 months ( range 1.2 - 13.8). Over 40% of infants had received complementary foods by 2 months and 65% by 3 months. The proportion of exclusively breast-fed infants, which included those receiving supplemental water, was 13% at 4 months, 6.3% at 5 months and 1.5% at 6 months. Infants with early complementary feeding had lower weight for age at 3 and 6 months (P<0.05), and at 9 months ( P = 0.07) and at 2 months they were approximately 200 g lighter. Early complementary feeding was significantly associated with increased risk for respiratory infection (P<0.05), and marginally increased risk for eye infection and episodes of malaria. Maternal illiteracy was associated with early complementary feeding ( OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.3, 3.2), while later complementary feeding was associated with reduced infant morbidity and improved growth.
Conclusion: Breast-feeding promotion programmes should target illiterate women. Greater emphasis is required to improve complementary feeding practices.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: breastfeeding complementary feeding morbidity illiteracy growth prospective cohort south-africa transmission deaths health diarrhea durban hiv-1 age
Subjects: WS Pediatrics > WS 100 General works
WS Pediatrics > Child Care. Nutrition. Physical Examination > WS 115 Nutritional requirements. Nutrition disorders
WS Pediatrics > Child Care. Nutrition. Physical Examination > WS 125 Breast feeding
WS Pediatrics > WS 20 Research (General)
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Child & Reproductive Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Sarah Lewis-Newton
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2011 11:52
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:02


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