Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Popular Feeding Method Studied

OU Media Release

Popular Feeding Method Studied

Otago study highlights how little is known about baby weaning method

Warning about raw apple

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Starting babies on solids by letting them feed themselves pieces of food is a growing trend – yet there is scarce scientific research about the practice, putting healthcare professionals in a difficult position when giving advice, new University of Otago research suggests.

University of Otago Human Nutrition PhD student Sonya Cameron‘s study, published today in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open, interviewed a group of 20 Dunedin mothers who had followed what is known as Baby-Led Weaning (BLW) from when their babies were about six months. She also interviewed 31 health professionals involved in infant care.

She found that mothers seemed to be confidently following guidelines they had gleaned themselves either through others, literature or the internet, and that many felt intuitively that it was the best way to feed their baby. The mothers believed the advantages of introducing solid food through BLW included healthier eating behaviours and that it was a “less stressful” way to introduce solid foods.

Typically, the practice of BLW involves the infant picking up and feeding themselves pieces of soft fruit, vegetables and possibly meat, rather than the adult spoon-feeding them food that has been puréed or mashed. Ms Cameron says the practice is increasingly popular, and she had no difficulty in finding mothers practising this method of feeding in Dunedin.

However, she found that among healthcare professionals with whom mothers would typically discuss feeding issues, there was scarce information about the practice. Some health professionals also had concerns about whether it might cause problems with choking or low nutrient intakes.

“Baby-led weaning appeared to be working for these women and babies, and they felt there were distinct advantages. Health professionals also felt the practice might have advantages, such as better eating patterns, but at the same time were hesitant to recommend it largely due to the fear that babies might choke on pieces of food,” she says.

While several mothers interviewed reported that their child had experienced a choking episode, none of these were serious incidents requiring intervention from parents, and it is not clear whether the infants were actually choking or gagging. Gagging is a common response when infants begin to eat any type of solid food.

“However, a number of foods that infants can pick up are definitely not suitable for them to eat. Most of the mothers in our study who reported a choking episode said it was due to raw apple.

“We would strongly recommend that hard foods like raw apple not be offered as part of Baby-Led Weaning, or any other form of infant feeding,” Ms Cameron says.

The University of Otago Departments of Human Nutrition and Medicine plan further research to study a modified form of BLW using a randomised controlled trial, and are currently recruiting 300 Dunedin mothers and babies for the study.

Co-author on Ms Cameron’s study, Dr Anne-Louise Heath, says this New Zealand research will address the scarcity of information worldwide on the best way to practice Baby-Led Weaning.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news