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Low-Income Black Moms Often Provide Solid Foods Early

Perception of infant temperament, breast-feeding, and maternal obesity tied to early feeding

FRIDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Early complementary feeding (CF) appears to be highly prevalent among low-income, black, first-time mothers, with maternal perception of infant temperament, breast-feeding, and maternal obesity as well as depression significantly associated with early CF, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in Pediatrics.

Heather Wasser, M.P.H., R.D., of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues used cross-sectional data from the 3-month visit of 217 infants from the Infant Care, Feeding and Risk of Obesity Study to evaluate relationships between early feeding of solids or juice and several dimensions of perceived infant temperament.

The investigators found that 77 percent of the infants were fed solid foods at 3 months, with 25 percent fed juice, and just 6 percent exclusively breast-fed. Multivariable analyses revealed that two dimensions of perceived infant temperament were associated with early feeding of solid foods (distress-to-limitations odds ratio [OR], 1.97; activity level OR, 1.75), while one dimension (low-intensity pleasure) was related to early feeding of juice (OR, 0.51). Maternal characteristics significantly associated with CF before 4 months included breast-feeding, obesity, and depressive symptoms.

"Low-income black mothers may represent a priority population for interventions aimed at improving adherence to optimal infant feeding recommendations," the authors write.

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