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The first six month growth and illness of exclusively and non-exclusively breast-fed infants in Nigeria.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare the growth and illness pattern of infants who were exclusively breast fed for six months with those of infants commenced on complementary feeding before the age of six months and ascertain reasons for the early introduction of complementary feeding.

DESIGN

A comparative prospective study.

SETTING

Urban Comprehensive Health Centre (UCHC), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife.

SUBJECTS

Three hundred and fifty-two mothers and their normal birth weight babies, weighing 2.500kg or more, and aged less than 14 days were serially recruited into the study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Mean/median monthly weights in the first six months of life, history/outpatient presentation for illnesses.

RESULTS

Of the 352 mother-infant pairs recruited into the study, 345 (98%) were successfully followed up for the first six months of life. At six months, 264 (76.5%) were exclusively breast-fed, 45 (13.1%) were started on complementary feeding, between the ages of four and six months while 36 (10.4%) commenced complementary feeding before the age of four months. Infants who were exclusively breast-fed for six months had median weights above the 50th percentiles of the WHO/NCHS reference that is currently used in the national "road to health" (growth monitoring) cards. Furthermore, the mean weight of these babies at age six months was above those of babies who started complementary foods before six months. They also reported fewer symptoms and had fewer illness episodes (0.1 episodes per child) compared to those who started complementary feeding before six months. Infants who commenced complementary feeding before four months reported more symptoms and had more illness episodes (1.4 episodes per child) compared to those that commenced complementary feeding between four and six months (1.2 episodes per child). Common symptoms/illnesses seen or reported during the study among the groups were fever, diarrhoea and cough. Reasons given for early introduction of complementary foods include insufficient breast milk, thirst and convenience.

CONCLUSION

It is concluded that exclusive breast-feeding supported adequate growth during the first six months of life for most of the infants studied. Early introduction of complementary foods did not provide any advantages in terms of weight gain in our environment, it was frequently associated with illness episodes and growth faltering. Many mothers however require support, encouragement and access to health care providers to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life.

Authors+Show Affiliations

,

Obafemi Awolowo University, Iie-Ife, Nigeria.

, ,

Source

East African medical journal 81:3 2004 Mar pg 146-53

MeSH

Adult
Body Weight
Breast Feeding
Female
Follow-Up Studies
Growth
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Health Status
Humans
Infant
Infant Food
Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
Infant, Newborn
Male
Prospective Studies
Sex Factors
Socioeconomic Factors

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15293973

Citation

Onayade, A A., et al. "The First Six Month Growth and Illness of Exclusively and Non-exclusively Breast-fed Infants in Nigeria." East African Medical Journal, vol. 81, no. 3, 2004, pp. 146-53.
Onayade AA, Abiona TC, Abayomi IO, et al. The first six month growth and illness of exclusively and non-exclusively breast-fed infants in Nigeria. East Afr Med J. 2004;81(3):146-53.
Onayade, A. A., Abiona, T. C., Abayomi, I. O., & Makanjuola, R. O. (2004). The first six month growth and illness of exclusively and non-exclusively breast-fed infants in Nigeria. East African Medical Journal, 81(3), pp. 146-53.
Onayade AA, et al. The First Six Month Growth and Illness of Exclusively and Non-exclusively Breast-fed Infants in Nigeria. East Afr Med J. 2004;81(3):146-53. PubMed PMID: 15293973.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The first six month growth and illness of exclusively and non-exclusively breast-fed infants in Nigeria. AU - Onayade,A A, AU - Abiona,T C, AU - Abayomi,I O, AU - Makanjuola,R O A, PY - 2004/8/6/pubmed PY - 2004/9/14/medline PY - 2004/8/6/entrez SP - 146 EP - 53 JF - East African medical journal JO - East Afr Med J VL - 81 IS - 3 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To compare the growth and illness pattern of infants who were exclusively breast fed for six months with those of infants commenced on complementary feeding before the age of six months and ascertain reasons for the early introduction of complementary feeding. DESIGN: A comparative prospective study. SETTING: Urban Comprehensive Health Centre (UCHC), Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife. SUBJECTS: Three hundred and fifty-two mothers and their normal birth weight babies, weighing 2.500kg or more, and aged less than 14 days were serially recruited into the study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean/median monthly weights in the first six months of life, history/outpatient presentation for illnesses. RESULTS: Of the 352 mother-infant pairs recruited into the study, 345 (98%) were successfully followed up for the first six months of life. At six months, 264 (76.5%) were exclusively breast-fed, 45 (13.1%) were started on complementary feeding, between the ages of four and six months while 36 (10.4%) commenced complementary feeding before the age of four months. Infants who were exclusively breast-fed for six months had median weights above the 50th percentiles of the WHO/NCHS reference that is currently used in the national "road to health" (growth monitoring) cards. Furthermore, the mean weight of these babies at age six months was above those of babies who started complementary foods before six months. They also reported fewer symptoms and had fewer illness episodes (0.1 episodes per child) compared to those who started complementary feeding before six months. Infants who commenced complementary feeding before four months reported more symptoms and had more illness episodes (1.4 episodes per child) compared to those that commenced complementary feeding between four and six months (1.2 episodes per child). Common symptoms/illnesses seen or reported during the study among the groups were fever, diarrhoea and cough. Reasons given for early introduction of complementary foods include insufficient breast milk, thirst and convenience. CONCLUSION: It is concluded that exclusive breast-feeding supported adequate growth during the first six months of life for most of the infants studied. Early introduction of complementary foods did not provide any advantages in terms of weight gain in our environment, it was frequently associated with illness episodes and growth faltering. Many mothers however require support, encouragement and access to health care providers to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. SN - 0012-835X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15293973/The_first_six_month_growth_and_illness_of_exclusively_and_non_exclusively_breast_fed_infants_in_Nigeria_ L2 - https://medlineplus.gov/breastfeeding.html DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -