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Do early infant feeding patterns relate to breast-feeding continuation and weight gain ? data from a longitudinal cohort study.

Casiday, R. E. and Wright, C. M. and Panter-Brick, C. and Parkinson, K. (2004) 'Do early infant feeding patterns relate to breast-feeding continuation and weight gain ? data from a longitudinal cohort study.', European journal of clinical nutrition., 58 (9). pp. 1290-1296.


Objectives: To describe the first-week feeding patterns for breast- vs bottle-fed babies, and their association with sustained breast-feeding and infant weight gain at 6 weeks. Design: A longitudinal cohort study. Setting: Feeding diaries were completed by mothers in an urban UK community shortly after birth; follow-up weight and feeding data were collected at routine health checks. Subjects: Mothers of 923 full-term infants born during the recruiting period agreed to join the study. In all, 502 usable diaries were returned from 54% of the cohort. Results: Breast-fed infants were fed more frequently (2.71 h between feeds) than bottle-fed infants (3.25 h between feeds) and mixed-fed infants (3.14 h between feeds) (P<0.001) in the first week of life, while duration of feeds was similar. Only exclusive breast-feeding in the first week (P<0.001) and maternal education (P=0.004) were related to continued breast-feeding at 6 weeks. Greater first-week feeding frequency (as measured by feed-to-feed interval, h) was associated with higher weight gain at 6 weeks for breast-feeders, but no analysed factors were associated with higher weight gain for bottle-feeders. Conclusions: This large-scale study of first-week feeding patterns sheds light on the important and complicated issues of breast-feeding continuation and infant weight gain, with implications for the feeding advice given to mothers. Supplementary bottle feeds were clearly associated with discontinued breast-feeding at 6 weeks. Over that period, higher weight gain was associated with more frequent feeding for breast-fed infants only. Sponsorship: Henry Smith Charity, SPARKS, Child Growth Foundation.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Feeding diaries, Breast-feeding, Bottle-feeding, Infant feeding, Feed duration, Feeding frequency, Weight gain.
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Record Created:24 Jun 2008
Last Modified:20 Apr 2011 09:43

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