BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:
The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for up to 2 years of age or beyond, and there is no age limit for cessation of breastfeeding according to an American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement. Continued breastfeeding at the first year is 1 of the core indicators for assessing global infant and young child feeding practices. The study aims to determine the frequency of breastfeeding after 12 months (long-term breastfeeding) according to various infant and maternal characteristics and to investigate the effects of long-term breastfeeding on nutritional habits and growth status of children in the national data.
The sample included 1666 children aged 12 to 35 months from the Turkey Demographic and Health Survey. Maternal parameters included age, highest education level attained, occupation, speaking language, smoking status, contraceptive methods, health insurance, type of wedding, presence of bride price, parity, anthropometric data, paternal occupation, family type, family size, family wealth index, residence, and region. Children parameters included age, gender, preceding birth interval, presence of antenatal care, birth place, birth weight, birth order, duration of breastfeeding, infant feeding practices, use of bottle with a nipple, and anthropometric data. Infants breastfed after 12 months of age (long-term breastfeeding) were included in the “BF12” group. Statistical analyses were done in weighted data. The differences in rates of BF12 were analyzed by using univariate logistic regression. Predictor variables that had a significant relationship with the dependent variable (BF12) at the P < .10 level were selected for inclusion in the multivariate logistic regression model.
Only 55.9% of children were breastfed beyond 12 months. The rates of long-term breastfeeding were higher in mothers with high birth order, long preceding birth interval, religious wedding, use of traditional contraceptive methods, mothers aged 30 to 34 years, and overweight mothers. However, the rates were lower in mothers with tobacco exposure and in bottle-fed infants. Long-term breastfeeding did not change the consumption of plain yogurt, solid foods, and semi-solid foods; however, it decreased the intake of bottled milk and fruit juice. The rates of long-term breastfeeding were similar in cases of undernutrition and in cases with normal growth status.
Long-term breastfeeding was related to some maternal and infant characteristics; however, it did not affect consumption of complementary food. Breastfeeding promotion programs should necessitate some targeted interventions for younger, primiparous, and smoking mothers.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics