Document Detail

Infant feeding practices in Papua New Guinea.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9924558     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Concern about a possibly increasing prevalence of bottle-feeding led in 1995 to an Infant Feeding Survey of 1822 mothers attending urban health facilities. Infant feeding practices including feeding of colostrum, exclusive breastfeeding, weaning practices and bottle-feeding were assessed. This revealed that 28.8% of mothers had not given colostrum to their babies, that 43.5% of 3-month-old babies were exclusively breastfed, and that solids were introduced before 4 months of age in over half of the study population. Bottle-feeding was used by 20% of the study population. Feeding practices differed in women of Highlands and of Coastal origin. The findings emphasize the need to strengthen health education programmes which take into account the mothers' different cultural backgrounds. The issue of breast-feeding by mothers in paid employment needs to be addressed.
Recognizing the many benefits of breast-feeding, the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) legislated to protect the practice 4 years before the introduction of the World Health Organization Code of Marketing restricting access to bottle feeding supplies. While exclusive breast-feeding for 4-6 months is recommended policy, it was noticed that many mothers introduce solids and fluids other than breast milk much earlier. In 1995, the Pediatric Society of PNG conducted a feeding survey to assess the prevalence of bottle feeding and review the effects of the imposed legislation. Infant feeding practices, including the feeding of colostrum, exclusive breast-feeding, weaning practices, and bottle feeding were assessed among 1822 mothers of children under age 2 years attending urban health facilities. 28.8% of the mothers had not given colostrum to their babies, 43.5% of 3-month old babies were exclusively breast-fed, and solids were introduced before age 4 months in more than half of the study population. 20% of the study population bottle fed. The prevalence of exclusive breast-feeding among employed Highlands women was lower than among employed Coastal women, but the difference was not statistically significant. Study findings point to the need to strengthen health education programs which take into account mothers' different cultural backgrounds. The issue of breast-feeding by mothers in paid employment also needs to be addressed.
H Friesen; J Vince; P Boas; R Danaya; D Mokela; G Ogle; P Asuo; A Kemiki; W Lagani; T Rongap; M Varughese; W Saweri
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of tropical paediatrics     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0272-4936     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann Trop Paediatr     Publication Date:  1998 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-02-08     Completed Date:  1999-02-08     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8210625     Medline TA:  Ann Trop Paediatr     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  209-15     Citation Subset:  IM; J    
Division of Paediatrics, University of Papua New Guinea.
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MeSH Terms
Bottle Feeding / utilization*
Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
Infant, Newborn
Papua New Guinea
Socioeconomic Factors

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