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Adolescents' infant feeding practices in the first year of life

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this work was to study the feeding practices of adolescent mothers' infants under one year of age living in the city of Volta Redonda (RJ). METHODS: This cross-sectional study included 1,014 infants selected randomly at the 2006 Multiple Vaccination Campaign. The 24-hour recall was used. Characteristics of the mothers and infants were analyzed. The prevalences of breastfeeding, exclusive and predominant breastfeeding and the use of other kinds of milk, in addition to the feeding practices in the first day at home and use of complementary foods, solid or semi-solid foods and pacifiers and bottles were investigated. RESULTS: The prevalences of breastfeeding and exclusive and predominant breastfeeding were 85.5%, 32.0% and 9.6%, respectively, with no differences between adolescents' and adults' children. Adult mothers were significantly more likely to offer other kinds of milk than adolescent mothers (45.3% and 31.2% respectively). Infants at six or more months of age of adolescent mothers were significantly less likely to be breastfed than those of adult mothers (49.2% and 66.0% respectively) and more likely to be given pacifiers. Adult and adolescent mothers presented similar complementary feeding practices, with soups and soft foods prevailing. Meat and beans were the most common solid foods given to the infants. CONCLUSION: There are no differences in breastfeeding practices among mothers of different ages, whether adolescent or not, in the first six months of an infant's life but the practices do differ after this age. Among the six-monthold infants or older of adolescent mothers, the extensive use of pacifiers and the characteristics of the complementary foods deserve attention. Comprehensive studies are necessary.

Breastfeeding; Complementary feeding; Pacifier; Bottle-feeding; Adolescent mothers

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