Institute of Medicine Early Infant Feeding Recommendations for Childhood Obesity Prevention: Implementation by Immigrant Mothers From Central America

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Abstract

Purposes:

Describe implementation of Institute of Medicine (IOM) early infant feeding recommendations for child obesity prevention by immigrant mothers from Central America; examine potential relationships with food insecurity and postpartum depressive symptoms.

Design and Methods:

Using a cross-sectional, descriptive design, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 318 mothers of 2 month old infants at a large pediatric setting for low income families. Logistic regression models assessed feeding practices, food insecurity and postpartum depressive symptoms.

Results:

Exclusive breastfeeding rates were low (9.4%); most mothers (62.7%) both breastfed and bottle fed their infants. Mothers who bottle fed at moderate and high intensity were twice as likely to affirm that if you give a baby a bottle, you should always make sure s/he finishes it (OR = 2.30, 95% CI = 1.13, 4.69; OR = 2.29, 95% CI = 1.26, 4.14). Food insecurity was experienced by 57% of mothers but postpartum depressive symptoms were low (Possible range = 0–30; M = 2.96, SD =3.6). However, for each increase in the postpartum depressive symptoms score, the likelihood of affirming a controlling feeding style increased by 11–13%.

Conclusions:

Immigrant mothers from Central America were more likely to both breastfeed and bottle feed (las dos cosas) than implement exclusive breastfeeding. Bottle feeding intensity was associated with a controlling feeding style.

Practice Implications:

Infant well visits provide the ideal context for promoting IOM recommendations for the prevention of obesity among children of immigrant mothers from Central America.

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