Breastfeeding and introduction of complementary food in Danish infants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

AIM: The purpose of the present study was to describe early feeding patterns in Danish infants.

METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to 7113 mothers of newborns in the western part of Denmark approximately 6 months postpartum. A total of 5127 mothers (72%) returned the questionnaire and 4526 (88%) of the responding mothers provided valid answers to questions on infant nutrition.

RESULTS: Breastfeeding was initiated after birth by 97%. At the ages of 2, 4 and 6 months, 68%, 55% and 7% of the infants, respectively, were fully breastfed, i.e. they received mother's milk only. Full breastfeeding at 4 months was for infants significantly associated with higher birth weight, longer gestational age and singleton birth; for mothers it was associated with older ages, higher educational level, lower BMI and multiparity. During the first weeks, 14% of the infants were introduced to formula and this proportion increased to 32%, 43% and 74% at 2, 4 and 6 months, respectively. Only 20% of the infants never received formula during the first 6 months of life. Time for introduction of solid food was associated with breastfeeding status. At 4 months, 3% of the previously fully breastfed infants were introduced to solid food, 12% of the partially breastfed and 17% of the non-breastfed. At 6 months, 87% of the infants had been introduced to solid food.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of Danish mothers introduced infants to solid food between 4 and six months, and did not exclusively breastfeed until 6 months, as recommended by WHO.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)138-145
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Adult, Age Factors, Breast Feeding, Cross-Sectional Studies, Denmark, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant Food, Infant Formula, Infant, Newborn, Mothers, Surveys and Questionnaires

ID: 154183529