The relationship between infants' preceding appetite, illness, and growth performance and mothers' subsequent feeding practice decisions

Ellen G. Piwoz, Robert E. Black, Guillermo Lopez de Romaña, Hilary Creed de Kanashiro, Kenneth H. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Data from a longitudinal study of 153 low-income Peruvian infants were used to examine (i) whether infant characteristics such as appetite, illness and past growth performance are related to subsequent changes in their feeding practices (e.g. addition of non-human milks, solid foods, weaning), and (ii) whether this relationship depends on maternal characteristics such as feeding exposure and experience (MFEE). With one exception, infants were breastfed from birth. Feeding practices during the first month of life were related to practices throughout infancy. Most mothers changed their practices once (61%) or twice (34%) from birth to 6 months. Low weight gains from 1 to 2 (P < 0.003) and 2 to 3 (P < 0.04) months were identified as significant predictors of feeding changes during the following months, using logistic regression models that also adjusted for MFEE, infant gender, previous practice, and previous practice change. The interaction between past weight gain and MFEE (objective ii) was not statistically significant in the logistic regression models. However, when analyzed separately, the relationships between low weight gains and subsequent feeding changes were observed for high but not low MFEE mothers. The prevalences of anorexia and infection (diarrhea, respiratory, and/or fever), and poor length gain during the previous month were not related to subsequent changes in feeding practices. These results suggest that poor growth influences feeding practices from 2 to 4 months, when exclusive breastfeeding is recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-860
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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