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Journal of Community Nutrition & Health. 2013; 2(1):68-75.Objective: This was a prospective comparative study carried out from April 2011 to February 2012 to assess the growth pattern of exclusively breast fed (EBF) and non-exclusively breast fed infants (NEBF) in the first six months of life. Methods: A total of 213 lactating mothers and their neonates (less than 7 days) weighing 2.5kg were consecutively recruited into the study and followed up at 6,14 and 24 weeks, Infants were classified into EBF and NEBF groups based on their current feeding pattern during the follow up. Anthropometric measurements of weight and length were taken and compared with WHO reference curves. Data analysis was carried out using frequencies, percentages, means (SD) and t-test. Results: The rate of exclusive breastfeeding declined from 82.5% at delivery to 23% at the end of 24 weeks. The NEBF infants were heavier and longer at birth (P>0.05). The EBF Infants had higher weight (28 vs 22 g/day) and length gain of (0.77 Vs 0.70 cm/week) from 0 to 14 weeks than their NEBF counterpart (p>0.05). Despite a decline in weight gain of EBF infants after the 14 week, they retained the higher mean weight achieved earlier. Average cumulative weight and length gain of 3.71 kg Vs 3.31 kg and 15.33 cm vs 14.56 cm were recorded for EBF and NEBF infants, respectively during the 24 weeks follow up. The mean weight and length of the EBF infants was comparable to the World Health organization (WHO) reference curve than for the NEBF infants. Conclusion: This study has shown that exclusive breastfeeding supported adequate growth in infants studied during the first six months of life.
Weaning practices of the Makushi of Guyana and their relationship to infant and child mortality: A preliminary assessment of international recommendations.
American Journal of Human Biology. 2006 May-Jun; 18(3):312-324.The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) for the first 6 months of life, primarily because of potential immunological benefits which are deemed to outweigh nutritive costs for infants. This recommendation is controversial, as studies of the relationship between the term of EBF and infant and child health have produced conflicting results. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between the term of EBF and infant and child mortality among a group of swidden-horticulturalists in lowland South America. Consistent with the WHO, we hypothesized that EBF < 6 months will compromise the survival of the infant or child. This relationship was assessed via recall data generated in 2001 in structured interviews with 60 Makushi Amerindian women in Guyana's North Rupununi region. The data were analyzed with t-tests, Fisher's exact test, and logistic regression. The results do not support our hypothesis; the term of EBF is not found to be related to infant or child mortality. This is surprising given the potential for contamination in nonbreast-milk foods in this environment. Notably, this is occurring among mothers who are not energetically stressed. We propose that the apparent lack of benefit of EBF = 6 months is due to insufficient energy supply from breast milk alone, which may predispose the child to morbidity when subsequently stressed. This study concurs with others which revealed no significant benefits to the infant of EBF > 6 months, and the recognition that universal recommendations must be situated within local ecological contexts. (author's)