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Brain Dev. 1997 Sep;19(6):393-7.

The influence of feeding patterns on head circumference among Turkish infants during the first 6 months of life.

Author information

1
Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health, Bakirköy State Hospital, Clinic of Paediatrics, Istanbul, Turkey.

Abstract

The influence of various feeding patterns on physical growth and mental development of the infant, particularly during the first 6 months of life, is an important subject. Head circumference values of 172 healthy new-born infants were included in the study; 62 were exclusively breast-fed (BF), 58 were mixed-fed (MF) and 52 were formula-fed (FF). No significant differences were found in head circumference values between the groups at birth (BF 35.2+/-0.1, MF 35.1+/-0.1, FF 35.0+/-0.1 cm for boys and BF 35.0+/-0.1, MF 34.9+/-0.1, FF 34.8+/-0.1 cm for girls). At the end of the first month, the infants in the BF group (38.3+/-0.1 cm and 37.9+/-0.1 cm for boys and girls, respectively) had strikingly greater head circumference measurements than the others (MF 36.7+/-0.1, FF 36.6+/-0.1 cm for boys and MF 36.5+/-0.1, FF 36.4+/-0.1 cm for girls) (P < 0.05). However, in the subsequent 4-month period, the values detected in each group were almost the same. At the sixth month, head circumference-for-age values of infants in MF (42.6+/-0.1 cm for boys, 41.4+/-0.1 cm for girls) and FF (42.5+/-0.1 cm for boys, 41.5+/-0.1 cm for girls) were well below those of BF group (43.7+/-0.1 cm and 42.9+/-0.1 cm for boys and girls, respectively) and the standard curve (P < 0.05). These results suggest that exclusive breast feeding is sufficient during the first 6 months, the most important period of life.

PIP:

The influence of infant feeding patterns on head circumference in the first 6 months of life was examined in a prospective study of 172 healthy newborns registered at the Bakirkoy (Turkey) State Hospital Pediatric Outpatient Clinic in 1992-95. Head circumference was selected because of its positive association with cognitive development and physical growth. 62 infants were exclusively breast fed for the first 6 months, 58 received typical supplementary foods (e.g., yogurt, fruit juices, infant formula) in addition to breast milk starting on the 15th day of life, and 52 were fed infant formula from birth and supplements were introduced on day 15. No significant difference in head circumference at birth existed between the 3 groups of infants. At the end of the first month of life, exclusively breast-fed infants had significantly greater head circumference measurements than those in the other groups. During months 2-5, head circumferences were not significantly different in the 3 groups. At the end of the 6th month, however, mean head circumference-for-age values of mixed-fed infants (42.6 cm for boys and 41.4 cm for girls) and the formula-fed group (42.5 cm for boys and 41.5 cm for girls) were significantly lower than those recorded among breast-fed infants (43.7 cm for boys and 42.9 cm for girls) and the standard curve (p 0.05). Infants who were exclusively breast fed also approached the weight-for-age standards during the first 3 months of life, while those in the other groups were well below the norm. These findings confirm that exclusive breast feeding is sufficient to support infant growth during the critical first 6 months of life.

PMID:
9339866
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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