Breastfeeding and weaning practices in relation to nutritional status of infants.Indian Pediatr. 1992 Dec; 29(12):1533-9.IP
During the critical period of infancy, breastfeeding and weaning practices play an important role in determining the growth of an infant. The present study investigates the issue by observing 225 infants from Low Socio Economic (LSE) class (n = 150) and High Socio Economic (HSE) class (n = 75) for weight, height, and feeding practices. Almost all artificially fed (AF) infants in LSE class were malnourished while this was not so in the HSE class. However, the proportion of malnourished children in the LSE class for partially breastfed (BF + AF) group was comparable with exclusively breastfed (BF) group and was significantly lower (p < 0.01) than AF group indicating protective effect of partial breastfeeding against risks of contamination associated with weaning foods in such communities: The real bottleneck thus appears to be the lack of knowledge of handling and giving weaning foods in adequate quantities. Educating mothers appears to be the meaningful solution for improving the nutritional status of infants in poor communities.