Infant feeding practices in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China

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Abstract

Aims

To document infant feeding methods in the first six months of life in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, 2003–2004. Some problems with breast-feeding in the area are explained.

Methods

A longitudinal study of infant feeding practices was undertaken. A total of 1219 mothers who delivered babies during 2003 and 2004 were interviewed in five hospitals or institutes, and after discharge were contacted in person or by telephone at approximately monthly intervals to obtain details of infant feeding practices. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to explore factors associated with breast-feeding initiation.

Results

‘Any breast-feeding’ rates at discharge and at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 6 months were 92.2, 91.3, 89.9, 88.8, 87.7, 86.0 and 73.0%, respectively. ‘Exclusive breast-feeding’ rates at discharge and at 0.5,1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 6 months were 66.2, 47.6, 30.1, 25.8, 22.1,13.0 and 6.2%, respectively. The main problem of breast-feeding in Xinjiang was the early introduction of formula or water. The average duration of ‘exclusive breast-feeding’ was 1.8 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7–2.0), of ‘full breast-feeding’ 2.8 months (95% CI 2.7–2.9) and of ‘any breast-feeding’ 5.3 months (95% CI 5.2–5.4).

Conclusions

Infant feeding methods in Xinjiang were documented in this study and the main problems with infant feeding in Xinjiang are discussed. Further studies are needed to identify factors associated with ‘exclusive breast-feeding’ and duration.

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