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Scand J Public Health. 2015 Mar;43(2):138-45. doi: 10.1177/1403494814567171. Epub 2015 Jan 28.

Breastfeeding and introduction of complementary food in Danish infants.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Section for Nursing, Aarhus University, Denmark hk@ph.au.dk.
2
Department of Public Health, Section for Nursing, Aarhus University, Denmark Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.
3
Department of Public Health, Section for Biostatistics, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Abstract

AIM:

The purpose of the present study was to describe early feeding patterns in Danish infants.

METHODS:

A self-administered questionnaire was sent to 7113 mothers of newborns in the western part of Denmark approximately 6 months postpartum. A total of 5127 mothers (72%) returned the questionnaire and 4526 (88%) of the responding mothers provided valid answers to questions on infant nutrition.

RESULTS:

Breastfeeding was initiated after birth by 97%. At the ages of 2, 4 and 6 months, 68%, 55% and 7% of the infants, respectively, were fully breastfed, i.e. they received mother's milk only. Full breastfeeding at 4 months was for infants significantly associated with higher birth weight, longer gestational age and singleton birth; for mothers it was associated with older ages, higher educational level, lower BMI and multiparity. During the first weeks, 14% of the infants were introduced to formula and this proportion increased to 32%, 43% and 74% at 2, 4 and 6 months, respectively. Only 20% of the infants never received formula during the first 6 months of life. Time for introduction of solid food was associated with breastfeeding status. At 4 months, 3% of the previously fully breastfed infants were introduced to solid food, 12% of the partially breastfed and 17% of the non-breastfed. At 6 months, 87% of the infants had been introduced to solid food.

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of Danish mothers introduced infants to solid food between 4 and six months, and did not exclusively breastfeed until 6 months, as recommended by WHO.

KEYWORDS:

Infant feeding patterns; breastfeeding; breastfeeding duration; complementary food; descriptive analysis; formula; solid food; time for introduction

PMID:
25630521
DOI:
10.1177/1403494814567171
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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