Public Health Nutrition

Research Article

Infant feeding practices in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China

Fenglian Xua1, Colin Binnsa2 c1, Jing Wua3, Re Yihana4, Yun Zhaoa2 and Andy Leea2

a1 Medical College of Shihezi University, Xinjiang, 832002, People's Republic of China

a2 School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia 6845, Australia

a3 Shihezi People's Hospital, Xinjiang, 832000, People's Republic of China

a4 Urumqi Maternal and Child Health Care Institute, Xinjiang, 830000, People's Republic of China

Abstract

Aims To document infant feeding methods in the first six months of life in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, 2003–2004. Some problems with breast-feeding in the area are explained.

Methods A longitudinal study of infant feeding practices was undertaken. A total of 1219 mothers who delivered babies during 2003 and 2004 were interviewed in five hospitals or institutes, and after discharge were contacted in person or by telephone at approximately monthly intervals to obtain details of infant feeding practices. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to explore factors associated with breast-feeding initiation.

Results ‘Any breast-feeding’ rates at discharge and at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 6 months were 92.2, 91.3, 89.9, 88.8, 87.7, 86.0 and 73.0%, respectively. ‘Exclusive breast-feeding’ rates at discharge and at 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 6 months were 66.2, 47.6, 30.1, 25.8, 22.1, 13.0 and 6.2%, respectively. The main problem of breast-feeding in Xinjiang was the early introduction of formula or water. The average duration of ‘exclusive breast-feeding’ was 1.8 months (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.7–2.0), of ‘full breast-feeding’ 2.8 months (95% CI 2.7–2.9) and of ‘any breast-feeding’ 5.3 months (95% CI 5.2–5.4).

Conclusions Infant feeding methods in Xinjiang were documented in this study and the main problems with infant feeding in Xinjiang are discussed. Further studies are needed to identify factors associated with ‘exclusive breast-feeding’ and duration.

(Received February 14 2005)

(Accepted May 17 2006)

Correspondence

c1 *Corresponding author: Email c.binns@curtin.edu.au

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