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Matern Child Nutr. 2018 Jul;14(3):e12582. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12582. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Association between breast milk intake at 9-10 months of age and growth and development among Malawian young children.

Author information

1
Centre for Child Health Research, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
2
Department of Nutrition and Health, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lilongwe, Malawi.
3
School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Malawi, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi.
4
Department of Population Health, Nutrition Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
5
Program in International and Community Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA.
6
Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.

Abstract

World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for infants for the first 6 months of life, followed by introduction of nutritious complementary foods alongside breastfeeding. Breast milk remains a significant source of nourishment in the second half of infancy and beyond; however, it is not clear whether more breast milk is always better. The present study was designed to determine the association between amount of breast milk intake at 9-10 months of age and infant growth and development by 12-18 months of age. The study was nested in a randomized controlled trial conducted in Malawi. Regression analysis was used to determine associations between breast milk intake and growth and development. Mean (SD) breast milk intake at 9-10 months of age was 752 (244) g/day. Mean (SD) length-for-age z-score at 12 months and change in length-for-age z-score between 12 and 18 months were -1.69 (1.0) and -0.17 (0.6), respectively. At 18 months, mean (SD) expressive vocabulary score was 32 (24) words and median (interquartile range) skills successfully performed for fine, gross, and overall motor skills were 21 (19-22), 18 (16-19), and 38 (26-40), respectively. Breast milk intake (g/day) was not associated with either growth or development. Proportion of total energy intake from breast milk was negatively associated with fine motor (β = -0.18, p = .015) but not other developmental scores in models adjusted for potential confounders. Among Malawian infants, neither breast milk intake nor percent of total energy intake from breast milk at 9-10 months was positively associated with subsequent growth between 12 and 18 months, or development at 18 months.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00945698.

KEYWORDS:

Malawi; breast milk intake; growth and development; infant; lipid-based nutrient supplements

PMID:
29349922
DOI:
10.1111/mcn.12582
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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