Current WHO recommendation is to continue exclusive breast feeding (EBF) up to
six months. Main concern regarding this recommendation is, whether EBF
supports rapidly growing infant with adequate nutrition. Methods: A cohort of
randomly selected new-borns was followed up at two, four and six months, to
study feeding pattern and physical growth. Feeding practices and
socio-demographic data were collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire. Weight & length were measured using standard techniques. Results:
EBF rates were very high in this cohort of children. One main reason to stop
EBF was growth faltering. Only some children showed a catch up growth by
stopping EBF. At two, four and six months, weight faltering rates among EBF babies
were, 11.1%, 20.1% and 13.2% respectively. Length faltering had a similar
pattern, but with a higher rate at all ages. Conclusions: EBF up to six months
did not cause growth faltering in the majority. In the majority, no identifiable
cause for growth faltering was found. Possible genetic influence on growth
faltering was not considered when stopping EBF.
Cite this paper
Perera, P. , Fernando, M. , Meththananda, S. and Samaranayake, R. (2013) Pattern of physical growth during first six months of life among a cohort of babies living in Gampaha district, Sri Lanka. Health
, 23-28. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.58A4004
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