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The present study aimed to describe breast-feeding, complementary feeding and determining factors for early complementary feeding from birth to 8 months of age in a typical Brazilian low-income urban community.
A birth cohort was conducted (n 233), with data collection twice weekly, allowing close observation of breast-feeding, complementary feeding introduction and description of the WHO core indicators on infant and young child feeding. Infant feeding practices were related to socio-economic status (SES), assessed by Water/sanitation, wealth measured by a set of eight Assets, Maternal education and monthly household Income (WAMI index). Two logistic regression models were constructed to evaluate risk factors associated with early complementary feeding.
Based on twice weekly follow-up, 65 % of the children received exclusive breast-feeding in the first month of life and 5 % in the sixth month. Complementary feeding was offered in the first month: 29 % of the children received water, 15 % infant formulas, 13 % other milks and 9·4 % grain-derived foods. At 6 months, dietary diversity and minimum acceptable diet were both 47 % and these increased to 69 % at 8 months. No breast-feeding within the first hour of birth was a risk factor for the early introduction of water (adjusted OR=4·68; 95 % CI 1·33, 16·47) and low WAMI index a risk factor for the early introduction of other milks (adjusted OR=0·00; 95 % CI 0·00, 0·02).
Data suggest local policies should promote: (i) early breast-feeding initiation; (ii) SES, considering maternal education, income and household conditions; (iii) timely introduction of complementary feeding; and (iv) dietary diversity.
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