Maternal Age, Stress May Be Associated with Poor Infant Feeding Practices

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More than two-thirds of the mothers breastfed their infant and were less likely to worry about their infant’s hunger.
More than two-thirds of the mothers breastfed their infant and were less likely to worry about their infant’s hunger.
The following article is part of The Clinical Advisor's coverage from the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners' 39th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care in Chicago. Our staff will be reporting live on the latest news and clinically relevant practice information from leading pediatric NPs in many specialty areas. Check back for ongoing updates from NAPNAP 2018. 

CHICAGO—Mothers who breastfeed their infants are less inclined to worry about infant hunger, but the likeliness increases among younger mothers with high stress levels, according to research presented at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners' 39th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care.

Andrea Bushaw, PhD(c), RN, CPNP, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and associates assessed the association between maternal traits and infant feeding ideals in mothers with a history of previous preterm infant births.

The volunteers included 113 multiparous mothers with a median age of 27 years and median education of 12 years. Of the cohort, 68.1% breastfed their last child and were less inclined to feel concern about their infant's hunger. After including several control factors such as education, depressive symptoms, and maternal BMI, the researchers found that women with elevated stress levels and increased age were significantly more concerned about their infant's hunger.

Infant overfeeding and overweight concerns were not significantly relevant to maternal demographic or psychosocial variables.

“Differences in maternal psychosocial variables and attitudes toward infant nutrition may contribute to long-term eating habits and weight outcomes in children,” stated the authors. “A better understanding of maternal variables that influence infant feeding practices could improve the design of future intervention studies aimed at mothers at high risk for having poor infant feeding practices.”

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Reference

  1. Bushaw A, Lutenbacher M, Karp S, Dietrich M, Graf M. The relationships among maternal characteristics and infant feeding beliefs and practices. Presented at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 2018 National Conference; March 19-22, 2018; Chicago.
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