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Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood
Unit for Nutrition Research, Landspitali—The National University Hospital of Iceland and Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, University of Iceland, Eiriksgata 29, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Directorate of Health and Reykjavik University, Reykjavik 101, Iceland
Childhood Nutrition Research Centre, UCL Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, UK
Division of Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2013; in revised form: 30 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Abstract: Breastfeeding during infancy may have beneficial effects on various developmental outcomes in childhood. In this study, exclusively breastfed infants were randomly assigned to receive complementary foods from the age of 4 months in addition to breast milk (CF, n = 60), or to exclusively breastfeed to 6 months (EBF, n = 59). At 18 months and again at 30–35 months of age, the children were evaluated with the Parent’s Evaluation of Developmental Status questionnaire (PEDS) and the Brigance Screens-II. The parents completed the PEDS questionnaire at both time intervals and the children underwent the Brigance Screens-II at 30–35 months. At 30–35 months, no significant differences were seen in developmental scores from the Brigance screening test (p = 0.82). However, at 30–35 months a smaller percentage of parents in group CF (2%) had concerns about their children’s gross motor development compared to those in group EBF (19%; p = 0.01), which remained significant when adjusted for differences in pre-randomization characteristics (p = 0.03). No sustained effect of a longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding was seen on selected measures of developmental and behavioral status at 18 months, although at 30–35 months, a smaller percentage of parents of children introduced to complementary foods at four months of age expressed concerns about their gross motor development.
Keywords: early childhood; exclusive breastfeeding; complementary feeding; developmental status; behavior; randomized trial
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Jonsdottir, O.H.; Thorsdottir, I.; Gunnlaugsson, G.; Fewtrell, M.S.; Hibberd, P.L.; Kleinman, R.E. Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4414-4428.
Jonsdottir OH, Thorsdottir I, Gunnlaugsson G, Fewtrell MS, Hibberd PL, Kleinman RE. Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood. Nutrients. 2013; 5(11):4414-4428.
Jonsdottir, Olof H.; Thorsdottir, Inga; Gunnlaugsson, Geir; Fewtrell, Mary S.; Hibberd, Patricia L.; Kleinman, Ronald E. 2013. "Exclusive Breastfeeding and Developmental and Behavioral Status in Early Childhood." Nutrients 5, no. 11: 4414-4428.