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To determine the association between household food security and infant complementary feeding practices in rural Bangladesh.
Prospective, cohort study using structured home interviews during pregnancy and 3 and 9 months after delivery. We used two indicators of household food security at 3-months’ follow-up: maternal Food Composition Score (FCS), calculated via the World Food Programme method, and an HHFS index created from an eleven-item food security questionnaire. Infant feeding practices were characterized using WHO definitions.
Two rural sub-districts of Kishoreganj, Bangladesh.
Mother–child dyads (n 2073) who completed the 9-months’ follow-up.
Complementary feeding was initiated at age ≤4 months for 7 %, at 5–6 months for 49 % and at ≥7 months for 44 % of infants. Based on 24 h dietary recall, 98 % of infants were still breast-feeding at age 9 months, and 16 % received ≥4 food groups and ≥4 meals (minimally acceptable diet) in addition to breast milk. Mothers’ diet was more diverse than infants’. The odds of receiving a minimally acceptable diet for infants living in most food-secure households were three times those for infants living in least food-secure households (adjusted OR=3·0; 95 % CI 2·1, 4·3). Socio-economic status, maternal age, literacy, parity and infant sex were not associated with infant diet.
HHFS and maternal FCS were significant predictors of subsequent infant feeding practices. Nevertheless, even the more food-secure households had poor infant diet. Interventions aimed at improving infant nutritional status need to focus on both complementary food provision and education.
To assess the relationships between maternal breast-feeding intention, attitudes, self-efficacy and knowledge at 7 months’ gestation with exclusive or full breast-feeding at 3months postpartum.
Prospective cohort study with structured home interviews during pregnancy and 3 months after delivery.
Two rural sub-districts of Kishoreganj district, Bangladesh.
Over 80 % of 2178 pregnant women intended to exclusively breast-feed (EBF). Maternal positive attitudes, self-efficacy and knowledge about breast-feeding were positively associated with EBF intention (all P<0·05). All mothers except one reported initiating breast-feeding and 99·6 % of children were still breast-fed at 3 months. According to 24 h dietary recalls, we categorized 985 (45·2 %) infants as EBF at 3 months (47·8 % among mothers with EBF intention; 31·7 % among mothers with no EBF intention; P<0·05) and 551 (25·3 %) infants as predominantly breast-fed at 3 months (24·2 % among mothers with EBF intention; 30·8 % among mothers with no EBF intention; P<0·05). Prenatal EBF intention was associated with EBF (OR=1·48, 95 % CI 1·14, 1·91) and with full breast-feeding (OR=1·34, 95 % CI 1·04, 1·72) at age 3 months. EBF at age 3months was not associated with maternal breast-feeding knowledge, attitudes or self-efficacy.
Despite widespread expressed maternal EBF intention and universal breast-feeding initiation, prevalence of both exclusive and full breast-feeding at 3months remains lower than WHO recommendations. EBF intention predicts breast-feeding behaviours, suggesting the importance of prenatal counselling to improve infant feeding behaviours.
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