Peculiarities of complementary feeding among Ukrainian infants after 6 months of age




babies, breastfeeding, supplementary food, Baby-Led Weaning


Introduction. Introduction period of complementary feeding is very important for the growth and development of the child. Today, alongside the traditional introduction of complementary foods, baby-led weaning (BLW) has become a real trend. This method assumes that the child joins the family table and independently decides what and how much to eat. The BLW method is actively discussed in the scientific literature due to a number of advantages and disadvantages.

Aim - to investigate and characterize the peculiarities of the introduction of complementary foods among Ukrainian infants after 6 months of age.

Materials and methods. A questionnaire was developed, which contained 3 blocks of questions. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among 545 women who had children aged 6-7 months to 2-3 years.

The results of the study were assessed using the t-Student criterion, Pearson's chi-square test, or Fisher's exact test, conducted with the help of the "XLSTAT" computer program. Differences were considered significant at p<0.05.

Results. It was revealed that 40.6% of mothers used BLW complementary food, 22.3% mixed type of complementary food, and 37.0% of respondents used traditional spoon feeding. Children who received BLW were born full-term (95.9%) and to a greater extent through spontaneous delivery (70.9%). Among the groups with different methods of complementary feeding, no significant difference was observed due to manifestations of atopy. It was determined that the child's independent decision of how much to eat (64.7%) and what to eat (52.9%) was more common in the group of interviewed mothers who used the BLW method compared to the groups using mixed and traditional feeding. The consistency of food at the beginning of complementary feeding corresponded to the method of feeding. Among the adverse events in the BLW group, shortness of breath from food entering the respiratory tract (11.8%, p=0.043) and to a lesser extent vomiting (28.4%, p=0.012) were observed more often compared to children on traditional complementary foods.

Conclusions. The data we obtained indicate the growing popularity of BLW among Ukrainian mothers and good awareness of mothers in the correct use of this method, and negative phenomena were observed no more than in similar surveys described in the scientific literature.

The research was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Informed consent of the child and child's parents was obtained for the research.

No conflict of interests was declared by the authors.


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